|Map reference: SO9387
Saltwells Local Nature Reserve and the adjoining Netherton Reservoir is my local patch. Together they cover an area approximately 4km long and 1km wide. Saltwells LNR was created in 1981 and covers the deciduous Saltwells Wood, Doultons Claypit and the gorse-covered Netherton Hill. The whole area is crossed from north to south by the Black Brook, and from west to east by the Dudley No.2 canal. All these different habitats result in quite a long list of bird species being seen each year, as well as other fauna and flora. Several areas including Doultons Claypit are geological SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). Netherton Hill itself is 152 metres above sea level and can be good for visible migration in spring and autumn.
Access: Saltwells Nature Reserve is located two miles south of Dudley. Proceed on A4036, turn left at Merry Hill traffic lights (signposted) and continue for half a mile along Coppice Lane. Turn left at sign for Saltwells Inn. Car parking free.
Resident: Great Crested Grebe on Netherton Reservoir; Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Coal Tit, Treecreeper and Nuthatch in Saltwells Wood; Willow Tit on Netherton Hill. Grey Heron and Kingfisher visit throughout the year.
April - September: Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in Saltwells Wood; Reed Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Linnet and Reed Bunting on Netherton Hill. Passage birds include Common Sandpiper, Sand Martin, Meadow Pipit, Redstart, Stonechat, Whinchat, Wheatear, Sedge Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher.
October - March: Little Grebe and Tufted Duck and occasional Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard, Goldeneye and Common Gull on Netherton Reservoir; Siskin and Lesser Redpoll in Saltwells Wood; Redwing, Fieldfare and occasional Woodcock on Netherton Hill; Grey Wagtail on the canal. Teal and Water Rail can be seen in Mushroom Green marsh, south of Coppice Lane.
Last updated 5 August 2009