After a couple of festive days staying inside, I was ready for some fresh air. This perfect winters day, bright but cold was made for a short bird walk round the reserve. My son Nick and I wrapped up and set off.Inside the reserve all was quiet and 2 walks around the perimeter yielded a meagre 4 bird species; wood pigeon, robin, collared dove and great tit….possibly my poorest return ever here. However with few leaves round perhaps many birds were foraging in gardens; a more reliable food source. Undeterred we stuck around and as the day closed in birds began to arrive to roost and our numbers picked up. We saw wren, blackbird, goldfinch, chaffinch, blue tit, carrion crow and we heard a great sotted woodpecker in one of the tallest oaks. Try as we might all we gotf for our efforts to locate it were sore necks. However there was some reward in the form of a pair of nuthatches. I’ve always been puzzled why, with so many mature oaks in the wood I’ve never seen nuthatches before (one heard last summer), especially as they’re abundant in Mayow Park. Anyway as the temperature dropped we prepared to leave . Hard work but with the nuthatch sighting, ultimately rewarding. On the way out Nick saw a cormorant skirt the reserve and on the way home i picked up the churriing of a party of long tailed tits in a Silverdale garden and enjoy edged views. A nice ending to the walk.
Lovely weather made for a very enjoyable spin round the reserve. Trees fully in leaf meant spotting the birds was trickier but a good range of species are seen or heard. Sadly it didn’t include the Sparrowhawk, which has appeared in the last 4 walks but there was compensation the form of overflying swallows, which though not in any sense rare, I haven’t seen at the reserve before…..so the list extends.
The chiffchaff I heard last time was calling again suggesting it’s probably breeding in the wood or somewhere very close. Still not seen a single starling or House Sparrow in all my visits – something that would have been inconceivable in my childhood.
The full list was as follows:
- Carrion Crow
- Blue Tit
- Great Tit
- Stock Dove
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Ring-necked Parakeet
Called in at Dacres Wood briefly on Saturday. Surprised and delighted to hear my first calling chiffchaff on the reserve, as well as the beautiful singing of Blackcap, a not infrequent bird in Silverdale gardens but rarely heard in Dacres Wood. Strange that both are not encountered more often given the abundance of insects in the reserve.