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West Midland Bird Club

Studying Birds in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands since 1929

Blithfield Reservoir

Access to birdwatch at Blithfield Reservoir is by Inclusive Club membership only.

 

Blithfield Reservoir is a large expanse of water covering some 324 ha and owned by South Staffordshire Water plc who lease the right to birdwatch at the site to the West Midland Bird Club. A Bird Club Management Team act in an advisory capacity in connection to the birding and conservation administration of the site. Blithfield is regarded as one of the region's best bird-watching sites that provides interest year round. The reservoir and much of the surrounding woodland is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) under the stewardship of Natural England. This woodland and surrounding mixed farmland add a diverse mixture of habitat that, along with the reservoir, its exposed shoreline and reed-beds, plays host to an equally diverse mixture of bird species. The physical expanse of the water is an attraction to waterfowl and migrating wading birds while spring and autumn passage would not be complete without the appearance  of Osprey.

Reserve Management Team Contacts

John Holt - Email: blithfield@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk

 

Reserve Details

Main Access - South Staffordshire Water plc Education Centre, accessed via Newton Hurst Lane - O/S Grid ref: SK053250

The most productive areas are Tad and Blithe bays that are situated at the north-west shallow end of the reservoir and these are accessed via the South Staffordshire Water Company Education centre where parking is available and footpaths from here lead to the reservoir shoreline and observation hides, Tad Bay is a designated reserve area. After proceeding along the main entrance road and parking near the education centre, Tad Bay is easily reached through a gate to the left of the drive and Blithe Bay via a locked gate to the right. It is possible, however, to drive around Beech Tree Point into Blithe Bay. Vehicular access to Blithe Bay is also possible from the western end of the causeway but the track is often unsuitable for cars or it may be closed altogether. Similarly it is possible to drive around the tracks of the reservoir to the south of the causeway, known as the Deep End where the tracks are better maintained. If you plan to visit the reservoir for the first time and feel that you require some assistance, please contact the management team through the e-mail address provided above. Several gates around the reservoir are locked and can be opened by a key which can be obtained from the Estate Office that is located on the approach road to the dam and on the production of your WMBC Inclusive Membership card, for a charge by the South Staffs Water Company of £2.50. If you have any difficulty with this, again please contact our management team through the e-mail address provided above. Access to other areas is via footpath from the causeway or the Sailing Club. A relevant car sticker that announces your presence is supplied annually to Inclusive members and these stickers must be displayed in your vehicle/vehicles at all time when visiting. Your inclusive membership card should also be carried with you at all times as the Water Company insists that regular permit checks are made by bailiffs and Club wardens. Additional car stickers may be obtained from the WMBC Membership Secretary or via the contact details above. Failure to comply with these requests may result in a request to leave the Blithfield Reserve.

Notice - Tad Bay access limit. In order to avoid disturbance to the birds in Tad Bay there is strictly no access to this area beyond the Forward Hide - Thank You.

Staffordshire Bird News Blithfield Monthly/Annual Bird Reports

Blithfield Reservoir Location Map

One of a great variety of wading birds that visit the site and in the case of this species, Little Ringed Plover, breed at Blithfield -  photo - Steve Edwards

Recent Sightings LRP Steve Edwards

Use the Staffordshire Bird News link to access all up-to-date bird sightings for the area. Blithfield Reservoir sightings will be posted when relevant

Blithfield Annual Ringing Reports

Blithfield Reservoir News

The West Midland Bird Club is pleased to announce that the Forward Hide at Tad Bay has been extended to double its size. From that hide members can obtain closer views of the birds in the bay and also see part of the shore that cannot be seen from the Stansley Wood Hide. Please note that the Forward Hide can be reached via a locked gate to the right of the Stansley Wood Hide so a Blithfield key is required; obtainable either from the Engineers Office or through contacting blithfield@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk A Tern Raft has been placed off Beech Tree Point and can be viewed from the hide on the point.

Work has also been completed on a shelter overlooking the Deep End from between the Angler's Club and Ten Acre Bay. This structure will give better viewing conditions to see the winter gull roost while providing protection to birders in poor weather.  

The Club is grateful for the support and cooperation of the South Staffs Water Company and Gilleard Bros Ltd.

Roger Broadbent

RAFT 1

Work in progress on extending the forward hide at Tad Bay. This will improve the viewing faciiities at this point. Work on this has been carried out by Gilleard Brothers, a company who specialse in this work.

Photograph - Roger Broadbent  

Gull Hide Blith RB

The new Gull Hide overlooking the Deep End and complete with name plate is yet another advancement in bird watching facilities at this reserve. This hide will provide much welcomed shelter while watching the gull roost in poor weather conditions.  

This entire project has been funded by the West Midland Bird Club and the hide has been constructed by Club members who are involved in the Blithfield Birding Group. The Management Committee are extremely grateful to all those involved in their efforts to promote the Club.

Photograph of new Gull Hide by Roger Broadbent

Blithfield Owl Boxes

"Let's put up a couple of nest boxes"

easier said than done

Take a look at the accompanying photograph of Little Owl and Barn Owl nest boxes to appreciate the amount of work that goes into their construction and, it doesn't end there. These beautifully constructed boxes are of considerable size, transporting them to site and then erecting them is another major task for our reserve team at blithfield.

Little Owl - Steve Edwards - Blithfield

Little Owl - Blithfield - Steve Edwards

 

Attracting breeding owl species can be a hit and miss affair but these two well constructed boxes will certainly go a long way toward enticing the owl population at the reserve to take up residence.

 

 

photograph of boxes - Jerry Ray

Blithfield Access Keys

Any WMBC member wishing to apply for a key to gain access to certain parts of this reserve will benefit by reading the information provided in the link below

Blithfield Access Keys

Storm 'Doris' devastates woodland at our Blithfield Reserve

At least 100 trees were blown over in this storm that generated winds of severe gale force. Some of the sites permissive walks have been closed while the clear up operation is in progress. The sailing club also suffered severe damage with the roof being torn off in the storm. The photographs below show only a hint of the damage.

Blithfield woodland 3 Blithfield woodland 1 Blithfield woodland 2

Photographs by Jerry Ray

Developing all of our reserves is of prime importance and an on going task to make certain that we provide the best of facilities.