I always wonder how I miss local attractions when I have lived in the area for most of my life. Kingsbury water park and Drayton Manor Park are near to each other and the family has enjoyed many days out in both places. What I had overlooked over the years is Middleton lakes which is owned by the RSPB and is situated between the other two major venues. The RSPB reserve is next to the Bodymoor Heath Aston Villa training grounds and adjacent to Middleton Hall. The latter was closed when I visited but the RSPD car park was open and once there, I set off to explore the reserve.
My first port of call was the bird feeders and as I placed myself behind the hide, several birds visited included blue tits and a woodpecker. I had brought along my 400mm zoom lens and was able to get some good close ups. My walk up the river path took me to the Birmingham and Fazerley canal. The path took me past some nooks and crannies near to the river. Here I was able to stand in the woods and get some great pictures of the birds who came along.
I walked past the canal onto the flatlands and there were hundreds of seagulls flying around although there were a few other birds such as Canada geese present. I did spot my first butterfly of the season, an orange tip. The reserve is well set out and you can get good views of wildlife. I spotted swans, herons and partridges although I was not quick enough with my camera for some of them.
I did enjoy the visit but was left frustrated as I did not capture the flying birds as well as I had hoped. As I walked back reflecting on how to get better images, there were two ducks on the canal bridge walls. Getting my iPhone out I took a close-up picture of the birds before they moved on.
My duck stare picture did get a positive set of viewing on my social media channels. The picture of the lakes was featured on the lunchtime BBC weather report. These features made for a satisfying end of my visit to Middleton Lakes.