Rare bird appears at Feckenham nature reserve
Visitors to a local nature reserve were treated to a rare spectacle last week (22 to 28 February 2010).
A Slavonian grebe spent two days at Worcestershire Wildlife Trusts’ Feckenham Wylde Moor reserve, four and a half miles south of Redditch. The bird, one of approximately 800 in the UK, is normally found on the coast at this time of year.
The grebe was spotted on Wednesday morning by reserve warden Paul Meers. Paul explained “At first I couldn’t really believe that it could be a Slavonian grebe - it’s very rare and incredibly exciting to get one in Worcestershire; in fact we believe that this could be the first ever. I noticed that our resident coot was getting agitated and then it started to chase the grebe and dived on top of it to force it under the water.
Photo: Stuart Andrews
“The Grebe surfaced some distance away leaving the Coot confused as to where it had gone! However, it had moved out of the Coot’s territory so it was able to fish and feed in peace. It was diving constantly and most often came up with a stickleback.
“We were hoping that our rare visitor would stay around for a while as it seemed to be finding plenty of food. By Saturday morning, however, it had flown off. Having such an unusual bird here has certainly helped to put Feckenham Wylde Moor on the map – who knows what else will visit us this year!”
The birds normally winter on the coast and then move to breeding grounds in north Scotland from March onwards.
Feckenham Wylde Moor nature reserve is a remnant of an extensive marsh with a wide diversity of wildflowers and birds. The underlying clays of the site support a surface layer of fen peat which is uncommon in Worcestershire. The pools attract a range of birdlife and seventeen species of dragonflies and damselflies have been recorded.
A new viewing hide and interpretation were installed last year helping to improve the visitor experience to the reserve. For more information about the work of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust or for visiting Feckenham Wylde Moor visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk.
Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is the foremost organisation actively restoring and protecting wildlife and wild places in Worcestershire. The Trust owns and manages over 70 nature reserves throughout the county and works with local community members and other organisations to encourage a landscape for people and wildlife. It has over 18,500 members and around 500 volunteers who support the Trust by active involvement in its conservation, education, fundraising and administration work. www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk
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