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The Start of Spring in the Nature Reserve

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

The reserve is starting to wake up from its dormant period and shrugging off its winter coat. It is once again seeing new life in the trees and wildlife. With each day it appears to be getting a more greener hue to the landscape than before and the wildlife are taking full advantage of it.

As newly formed buds show on the trees small birds find insects to feed their young milling on the buds and branches whilst Parakeets can be seen in small groups attacking the blossom and fresh buds ( good for the bird but bad on the tree ). Green Woodpeckers can be see on the ground feeding from insects in the early morning and offering up their distinctive call as they are disturbed from their feasting and fly off to safety.

On the ponds, Spring is also a time for hatchlings to start appearing with the first of these being the young of Egyptian Geese. Five goslings were successfully hatched this year and whilst three were lost to predation the remaining two are almost the size of their parents and will soon to be flying the nest and will leave the reserve for pastures ( or waters ) new. Another pair of adult Egyptian Geese have been seen within the reserve and it is hoped that they too will have young to grace the waters edge. Mallards have also been successful this year in hatching their young and in a quiet area of the reserve Moorhens have been seen constructing their haphazard nests.

The nest boxes that the Friends group have put up in the reserve are also showing signs of being used by small birds such as Blue Tit, Great Tit and Nuthatch to bring on their young and one can often see the flurry of the parent birds either taking nesting material back to their chosen box or if they have bred already clutching insects and grubs in their beaks to feed their chicks. It is always worth while to stand a short distance away from one of the nesting boxes so as not to disturb the adult birds and to watch their flight pattern toing and froing as they search for food etc. Soon, it will be the turn of the Great Spotted Woodpecker which can now be heard hammering away at the trees in search for insects to find a nesting site from where, once hatched and able, one will hear the sound of the juvenile calling the parent birds back to the nest site for them to be fed. Again if you come across the raucous sound of the young Woodpecker coming high up in a tree stand nearby but not too close to the tree so as not to put the adults off from returning to the nest site and you may be lucky to see a feeding session take place as the juvenile pokes its head out to greedily take what is on offer. More recently we have seen Egret’s, Heron and Cormorant in the reserve as well as Greylag, which, like the Egret, is an uncommon visitor and whilst these birds will not be nesting within the reserve they are always a pleasure to see. Another bird which always makes people stop short is the Red Kite. Once lacking in the area they have become more and more visible in our skies over the years and hardly a day goes past when they are not seen using the thermals in the air to circle over the fields and giving us all a chance to see an avian ballet conducted high above our heads. I would encourage anyone to pick up a pair of binoculars and go for a walk in the nature reserve in the next few weeks or months and to take in and gain enjoyment from what we have around us and you may well be surprised in what you find.

Don Tait


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