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My Wild Runs - Kings Norton Nature Reserve (2)

Posted: Tuesday 5th May 2015 by Joe.P

Bluebell photo by Andy SlaterSpring flowers in Kings Norton Nature Reserve

Neil Hatton's fourth blog post in his series linking his running training with taking a look at urban wildlife sites. He returns to Kings Norton Nature Reserve and discovers there is a lot more to see.

For my second visit to Kings Norton Nature Reserve I decided to park at another location and explore a different area of the nature reserve. The entrance to the reserve has a useful map of the area and also a list of dates and times for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering then please contact - enquires@fknnr.org.uk to find out when the next volunteers day is.

Entering the reserve, I found myself in a wildflower meadow which was currently suffering from the recent dearth of rain. However the first thing I saw was the common butterfly a Painted Lady, these butterflies migrate to our shores from Africa. A journey which only recently became known about in 2012, it is hard to imagine that this fragile creature had just completed a 9,000-mile journey.

The butterfly was not alone as the meadow was buzzing with insects, the warm dry weather was perfect for them to emerge. This made jogging somewhat problematic as I had to breath with my mouth open and before I made it back to my car I had swallowed more than one bug.

Continuing along my jogging route I ran along side Merecroft Pool and was quickly able to spot a variety of birds. The Canada Geese and Mallards were there with some coots for company; one of the coots was behaving strangely. They had their head down with their neck stretched out I researched this behaviour when I got home and found out it was a threat display meant to ward off potential rivals.

One of the things I most enjoyed about jogging through this reserve was the variety of wild flowers I was seeing. My favourite were the Bluebells not quite the carpets you often see in well established woods but clumps of them under the trees. Characteristically these were accompanied by the Daffodils making for a very English countryside scene.

There was also a pleasing variety of lesser known woodland wildflowers scattered amongst the leaf litter including the beautiful wood anemone. Of course, there were also the less welcome nettles, these plants with their painful stings were the bane of my childhood. Fortunately, not too much further along I spotted the cure for nettle stings, if wives tales are to be believed; dock leaves.

I had now almost exceeded the amount of time I was allowed by my physiotherapist for running when I spotted an information board which listed types of wildlife in the area. Two birds of prey I had not spotted were listed here the Sparrowhawk and the Common Buzzard. I would have to return here at a later date to try and spot them.

For details of the route I took - see here. They will be celebrating International Dawn Chorus Day with a dawn chorus walk and then having a full day celebrating the wildlife there on 9th May. This is slightly after the main event (IDCD) on 3rd May, but hopefully the weather will be better than it was on Sunday!

Neil Hatton

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