Jay Pickard has sent us a picture of a kingfisher that he took from the Decorated Bridge yesterday.

Thanks Jay.

Swallows, swifts and martins

All summer long, swallows, house martins and swifts have hawked and hunted for winged insects over the park. The swifts have already begun their migration, the swallows will leave next and the house martins will go last of all.

Here is a short video to help you tell the three species apart.

World record blue tit

In Britain, the maximum recorded age of a blue tit is 10 years and 3 months but the world record is 11 years and 7 months.

All pictures taken in the park by DKG

Chiffchaff or willow warbler?

DKG has sent in beautiful pictures of a tiny green-brown warbler; does anybody know if it is a chaffchaff or a willow warbler? Neither is a rarity and both are known to nest in the park but we really have trouble telling them apart.

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Common swallow

Common swallows (Hirundo rustica), returned from their long migrations, come hawking over our fields and ponds in search of insects at this time of year.

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Bird table

Feeding birds in the spring.

Birds time their breeding period to coincide with the maximum availability of their natural foods: for example, winter moth caterpillars in the case of blue tits and earthworms for blackbirds and song thrushes. But cold or wet weather during the spring can cause severe shortages of insect food, and if the weather is exceptionally dry and the soil hardened, as it was last year, earthworms will be unavailable to ground feeding birds.

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A gallery of blue tits.

A blue tit feeding in an oak tree, photographed last March by DKG

A short video while we wait for the next sighting of the barn owls in the park:

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