The Winter moth (Operophtera brumata) is one of the few moth species that can cope with winter’s freezing temperatures in its adult stage. They are endothermic which means that they can produce heat internally by biochemical processes, just as warm-blooded creatures do.Continue reading “Winter moths”
This week, there have been reports of tawny owls in the park.Continue reading
There are all sorts of things that shriek in our woods: the Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) is just one of them.
Jay (Garrulus glandarius) audio by Bodo Sonnenburg ( CC -BY-SA) xeno-canto.org
click here for more shriekers and Screamers
Last year the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published a report called Wild Bird Populations in the UK, 1970 to 2018. We published this post at the time but feel it bears repeating: the coronavirus crisis may be at the top of our list of concerns but the environmental crisis has not gone away.Continue reading “Bird populations in crisis”
A robin’s lifespan is just 13 months on average due to high mortality among robins in their first year. However, once they’ve passed that first year barrier, they stand a much better chance of surviving for quite a while – the record currently stands at 19 years!
All pictures taken in the park by DKG
We have both greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers on our species lists but it is many years since the single sighting of a lesser spotted woodpecker in the park. Here is a video from the BTO to help you tell the difference between the two.
And while we’re on the subject of winter roosts….
….here are long tail tits preparing for a cold February night.Continue reading
The increasing use of nest box cameras has shown how frequently garden nest boxes are used by blue tits for winter roosting.Continue reading “Winter roosts”
A long tailed tit photographed last year in the park by DKG.Continue reading
A pair of jays flew over the car park as the Friends left on Wednesday after a morning’s work cutting back brambles.Continue reading “Jay”
Most of our willow warblers will have left by now; they will be on their way to sub-Saharan Africa where they will spend their winter. Theirs is the longest journey undertaken by any of the park’s migratory birds. Why do such tiny birds fly so far and take such risks to do it?Continue reading “Willow warbler migration”
Jay Pickard has sent us a picture of a kingfisher that he took from the Decorated Bridge yesterday.
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.
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
After the breeding season is over, robins moult.read on
Pigeons feed their babies on milk.Continue reading “A fascinating fact about pigeons”
The honeysuckle is in flower.Continue reading
All over the park there are nests full of baby great tits.
Video from WH Amazing Animals
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.Continue reading
ONE: Though their typical nest site is a hole in a tree, blue tits have been recorded nesting in all sorts of places: letterboxes and street lamps, inside a crack in a wall or a drainpipe, under a cast iron drain cover and, of course, in garden nest boxes.Continue reading “Five facts about blue tits”
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading “Bird table”
Rüppell’s griffon vulture
No, of course we haven’t seen vultures circling over the park; that would be silly. But…..Continue reading
The record breaking swifts are back from their winter feeding grounds.Continue reading “Record holders”