Goosanders at Sandwell RSPB and much more.

The new visitor center at Sandwell RSPB reserve is now open so we decided to take a look at that and see if the goosanders would be showing well for the camera.

It was a strange journey to the reserve mind you, with Eunice (our Satnav) taking us straight through the middle of Birmingham when a couple of motorways would have served us much better but the reserve was easy to find and well sign-posted.

There was little visible from the one hide (which also faces into the sun) but a walk around the lake (much of which lies outside the reserve and in a country park) did yield some lovely views of about 20 goosanders in the low afternoon sunlight. They were quite a distance away however, so the 2x teleconverter was required with the 100-400 Mk 2 lens to get reasonable image sizes. The camera handled the high contrast well however (shooting in raw of course) and I am pleased with the results under tricky lighting conditions.

Goosander at Sandwell RSPB 023-9205

Goosanders at Sandwell RSPB 023-9272

Goosanders at Sandwell RSPB 023-9297

An added bonus were good sightings of a songthrush in the woodland over the river and a flock of long-tailed tits by the lake. This is a good place for a few hours` birding with several paths leading away from the reserve into surrounding woodland. Head towards Sandwell Abbey for more small lakes and a heronry as well.

songthrush 024_9463


Finally, I was intrigued by these tiny fungi (Bonnets) growing in the leaf-litter ( surrounded by human-litter). This is an urban oasis so litter can be an issue in places.

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