Kingfishers usually come to the reserve in the autumn when breeding pairs split up and the year’s fledglings spread out to look for their own territories. This year, after such a long period of drought, things might be different.

Read on:


This year’s Ig Nobel prize for physics went to Professor Frank Fish , for research into the question of why ducklings swim in a line behind their mother. Apparently, the linear formation saves energy with the last duckling in the line benefitting the most. Didn’t we already know that?

by MTSOfan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Header Image: by Michael B. Smith (CC BY 2.0)

One for sorrow, two for joy…

There are several families of magpies in the reserve. This year’s crop are, as yet, short-tailed, loud- mouthed and clumsy, hanging out in gangs and still learning to fly properly. But, despite their dramatic black and white beauty, their reputation is poor.

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Wood pigeon

Wood pigeons (Columba palumbus) are our largest and most common pigeon. Gregarious, very adaptable and given to flocking in enormous numbers at this time of year, they are an everyday sight in British towns and countryside.

In towns they seem unafraid but in the park they are shy and wary. Often the first indication that they are there at all is the loud clattering and clapping of their wings as they take off and fly away. Their call is the lovely, familiar background noise of spring and summer.

Listen to the Reserve

by Simon Knight

During this extreme hot spell we are all currently enduring, there is no doubt that the best time to be in the reserve is first thing in the morning.

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A greenfinch photographed in the reserve on Friday by Cheryl Cronnie.


There are two species of thrush resident in the reserve: song thrush (Turdus philomelos) and mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus).  Here is how to tell them apart:

Cheryl Cronnie asks if this is a house sparrow (Passer domesticus) or a tree sparrow (Passer montanus) that she has photographed in the reserve.

Read on to find out

In response to yesterday’s fledglings, somebody sent me a link to a YouTube video of great tits leaving their nest. The screen is split so that you can see the inside and the outside of the nest box at the same time.


The reserve is full of little brown birds. Small and brown seems to be some kind of default programme for birds and accurate identification can depend on an extra millimetre in a  brown tail feather or the exact shade of a brown eye-stripe. Until they are otherwise identified, the RSPB calls them all LBJs: Little Brown Jobs.

Continue reading “LBJ”

Meet the Robin Family

by Cheryl Cronnie

There’s a little story behind the robin in this picture, whom I’ve called Rocky Robin. I’ve been feeding him since the end of August 2021. 

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