• Recent sightings, week beginning 1/3/24

    Spring is in full flow here on the reserve, we have seen the return of many spring/summer arrivals in the last couple of weeks and the bird chorus is loud and beautiful.

    Photo: Blackcap by Adam Saul-Braddock

    Here is a list of some of the star species we have seen this week:

    Little ringed plovers


    Willow warbler



    House Martins

    Sand Martins

    Green woodpeckers


    Cettis Warbler


  • Recent sightings 30/11/2023

    Winter is truly here, with the frosty spells and early dark nights. Along with this wintering visitors are still arriving on the reserve! 






    Pink-footed goose 






    Peregrine falcon  

    Great white egret   

    Common gull 


    Song thrush 




  • Recent Sightings 08/11/2023

    Here are a few of the sightings seen from our lakeside hide and around Sandwell Valley in the past week:



    House sparrow

    Red Kite




    Water rail



    Common gull 


    Coal tit


    Great spotted woodpecker

  • We love the feeling when we spot our first Winter visitors...

    As the seasons change and the leaves fade from the green of Summer to the reds, oranges, and browns of the Autumn our summer visitors leave the reserve and are replaced by an influx of wintering birds such as thrushes to waders. Meet some of our Winter visitors below.

    Secret Snipe

    Common snipe. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)                                                                                 

    One of our first winter visitors to return to the reserve is the common snipe or just snipe. Whilst…

  • Recent sightings 23/10/23

    Here are a few of the sightings seen from our lakeside hide and around Sandwell Valley in the past week:

    Yellow-legged Gull


    Rock Pipit 




    Common Gull









    Water rail

  • Robin Robin

    Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas

    Credit Aardman/Netflix

    We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary!

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure…

  • World Teachers Day 2021

    We’re very happy to be able to welcome excellent educators back to RSPB Sandwell Valley and, after a long break, have been really enjoying working with visiting school groups to explore our beautiful nature reserve.

    In celebration of World Teachers Day, we spoke to a couple of our wonderful schools on reserves volunteers. 

    Wendy said: “As a retired teacher I love working with children at RSPB. It is such a delight…

  • International Youth Day

    We have several young volunteers here at RSPB Sandwell who help out with our family days and events, from pond dipping to den building, craft activities and more. After a year moving in and out of Lockdown, we thought we’d catch up with some of them and learn how they’ve benefitted being out of doors surrounded by nature during a global pandemic…

    1. Have you done any nature or wildlife activities during…

  • #MothWeek

    Did you know there are around 2,500 species of moth in the UK? We aren't perhaps quite as familiar with our moths as we are butterflies (as many of them are nocturnal) but there are certain characteristics you can look out for to help you identify them. For example, what shape are their wings? Are they frilly or triangular shaped? Or are they patterned with spots or stripes?

    When the weather is super warm and sunny…

  • World Bee Day - by Aaron Bhambra

    Happy World Bee Day!

    RSPB Sandwell Valley is a very important site for local bee populations in the West Midlands. There have been over 60 species records of aculeates (bees, wasps and ants) for the RSPB reserve, with the Bee Bank near the bird hide providing a home for around 46 different species of bee and wasp.

     Gold tailed Melitta - Photo by Brian Baker

    We have nationally scarce species like the Gold tailed Melitta…

  • Covid-19 update: Important information about Sandwell Valley's facilities

    Following the latest clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home apart from a limited number of allowed activities, our visitor centre, hide and car park will remain closed until further notice.

    We urge anyone using the country park to follow all government guidelines on coronavirus and social distancing to keep yourself and others safe.  Department for Health and Social Care’s website.

  • Covid-19 update and important information about Sandwell Valley's facilities

    Following the latest government advice, we have made the difficult decision to close our visitor centre and hide to visitors from Thursday 19th March. This is to prioritise the health and welfare of our staff, volunteers and visitors.

    These are difficult and unsettling times for all of us but we hope that nature can provide a welcome respite in whichever form and wherever you may encounter it. We want to do everything…

  • Nuthatch Sighting

    We had an unexpected visitor come to the bird feeders a few weeks ago – one we haven’t seen for quite a while. Amidst all the blue tits and great tits there was, much to several visitors’ delight, a nuthatch. The nuthatch is quite a distinctive bird. They’re around the same size as a great tit and their feathers are blue-grey above and whitish below, with chestnut tones on its sides and under the tail.…

  • Interning with RSPB Sandwell Valley – by Anna-Marie Rogers

    I’ll be honest, 10 months ago the idea that there was a nature reserve in spitting distance to a big city like Birmingham, let alone nestled in between the M5 and the M6, boggled my mind. As someone who grew up in a small Somerset village and then spent 6 years surrounded by sea and sheep in Wales, somewhere like Birmingham was a bit of a culture shock to say the least.

    Interning here at the RSPB has been a whirlwind…

  • Catching Up with the Garden Work Party

    As we head towards December the weather is changing and so is the landscape around us. The tree branches are bare, there’s a mightily chilly wind and over the valley lies a blanket of grey sky. One thing is certain: winter is definitely on its way!

    Last week we caught up with Matt, Jason and Tony, three of our Garden Work Party volunteers who joined us earlier in the year. Since the summer they’ve been out in all…

  • Changing Leaves and Tall Trees

    As the seasons change our reserve comes alive with colour; from the brilliant white of blossom in the spring, to the vivid hues of lush green in the summer, to the vibrant yellows and reds that emerge in autumn. All through the year we are surrounded by these wonderful colours until winter comes and the branches are left bare – unless, of course, the trees are coniferous.

    Most trees on our reserve were planted by…

  • Lake Habitat Improvements

    The Environment Agency Perry Barr and Witton flood risk management scheme is well underway downstream (as seen in the photo below). They are constructing a dam and earth bunds, which will be grassy and green, both of which will hold back water during flood situations, protecting over a thousand properties downstream.

    The likelihood of Forge Mill Lake, which is part of the RSPB reserve, flooding because of this scheme…

  • Simple Activities for Autumn

    Autumn: a time of change. Green leaves give way to golden. Birds migrate, cheerfully swapping the stereotypical British weather for warmer climates, and many animals prepare for hibernation. Already the conkers and acorns are falling to the ground, the remains left in small clusters by squirrels after an early morning picnic. Everything is in a state of flux, and with the promise of chilly winds and rain ahead, the nights…

  • The Tail of the Eyed Hawkmoth Caterpillar

    The sun is shining, the skies are blue and we're thoroughly enjoying the tail-end of summer here at RSPB Sandwell as we head into mid-September towards the autumn equinox and the changing of the seasons. Out on the lake we're busy starting work on the islands - thanks to support from the Environment Agency Perry Barr and Witton flood risk management scheme - and many of our work party volunteers are getting stuck in and…

  • World Teacher's Day!

    We have a wonderful education team here at Sandwell Valley who work with local schools, youth groups, youth organisations and families. From leading guided walks to teaching children how to pond dip, our team are always on hand to help young learners connect to nature and discover the world around them.

    As it's World Teacher's Day, we thought we'd ask Lucy (our Learning Officer) and Anna (our Education, Youth and Families…

  • Sandwell Switch Off in Support of Climate Strikes

    As many of us have heard on the news, or even seen with our own eyes, the world is going through a catastrophic climate crisis.  

    It’s hard to ignore how our climate has been changing over the past few years, with the MET office recording extremer temperatures year on year. This year alone we experienced the UK’s hottest ever recorded temperature at 38.7°c and only last year did we experience the ‘Beast from the…

  • Super Schools at Sandwell!

    Now that the school term has finished and the summer holidays are officially underway, it’s time to reflect on what an incredible school year we’ve had here at RSPB Sandwell. From April alone, we’ve had 28 different schools come to visit us, totalling 1435 individual children! That is an increase of 340 from the same period last year, which is a whole lot of brains and stomachs to feed!

    While we leave…

  • Breathing New Life into RSPB Sandwell

    Five years ago, we were granted funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (previously known as the Heritage Lottery Fund) and other trusts in order to revive our nature reserve and breathe new life into RSPB Sandwell Valley. This funding has enabled us to do a huge amount for the reserve in the last few years from giving us the wonderful new visitor centre to connecting people and nature through community events.


  • National Meadows Day

    To celebrate National Meadows Day this year here at RSPB Sandwell Valley we've created another wonderful wildflower meadow!

    On the walk down to the Hide, just before you reach the Hugging Tree, there's a wooden bed full of gorgeous wildflowers and a patch of ground opposite that has been lovingly planted by our morning work parties. In the UK we have lost many of our wildflower meadows and it is vital that we continue…

  • A Reflective Journal by David Winston - Part 3

    Summer is here and the reserve is in full bloom! David Winston, one of our Work Party volunteers, has kindly shared the third part of his reflection journal with us as he documents his experiences during the late spring and early summer season at RSPB Sandwell. From helping with school visits to logging recent sightings, David gives brilliant insight into a day in the life of a reserve volunteer.

    If you missed the first…