TWASI VISIT TO RYTON POOLS COUNTRY PARK
On Wednesday 24th April, four of us met up at Ryton Pools Country Park near Coventry. Originally, sand and gravel were extracted there and now the site has been made into lakes, paths and recreation areas for people to enjoy. There is also an area of ancient woodland, which is managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
After coffee in the cafe, we set off to walk to the woodland. There was birdsong all
around us and the sound of woodpeckers drumming and calling in the woods, and we saw Peacock and Speckled Wood butterflies. There were many different kinds of wildflowers, including primroses, wood anemones, stitchwort, violets and cowslips and a very pretty little pink flower which we didn’t recognise but have since identified as common stork’s-bill.
However, the most spectacular were the bluebells, the woodland clearing was carpeted with them. The sun came out and showed them at their very best and their scent was lovely.
While we were enjoying the bluebells, we heard a cuckoo! This was an added bonus, as their numbers have plummeted in the last few years and they are now on the RSPB red list of birds that are critically endangered.
In the afternoon, we walked to see the lakes. On the big lake, there were swans, Canada geese, mallards, great crested grebe and moorhen. The birds here are used to being fed by visitors and so are easy to see. At the smaller lake, it is much quieter and we sat in the hide to watch the birds. As well as swans and Canada geese, which were on nests, there were several pairs of tufted duck, a little grebe and coots and we were treated to a female mallard with eleven ducklings!
We had a really good day despite a couple of heavy showers, the country park is well worth a visit. It’s our local nature reserve and we visit it regularly, there is always something different to see.