St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Wildwatch: 5th October – First winter tit flock

Weather: Overcast; fresh, warm SW wind.
Observers: Matt, Ian

Birds: About 5 Robins were heard around the reserve, suggesting that we can soon start to carry out our plan to map Robin territories. We spent about 45 minutes at the “Kingfisher Culvert” on Tang Hall Beck, where Matt saw his first ever Kingfisher! It was the usual quick streak of blue as the bird flew downstream. Once again, Ian failed to get his first-ever photo of a St Nicks Kingfisher!

Blackcap

Blackcap bathing in Tang Hall Beck

Quite a few birds were using the beck for bathing and drinking, including Blackbirds (plenty of those around) and Goldfinches. One small bird was briefly seen bathing near the bend of the beck, but it wasn’t until a blurred photograph was examined that it was identified as a Blackcap. Maybe we’ll get one over-wintering here?

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit: part of a tit feeding flock

 

A feeding flock of about a dozen Long-tailed Tits came in to the bushes to feed, accompanied by Blue Tits and a couple of Great Tits. This is the first winter tit flock that has been seen here this autumn.

A Wren gave unusually clear views as it foraged along the beck-side, and a Sparrowhawk drifted overhead.

Wren

Wren foraging along Tang Hall Beck

Bullfinches, too, were close to the beck; both male and female birds were seen, but no sign of the juvenile, which should not yet have moulted into its adult plumage.

A walk along the top path and down Osbaldwick Beck produced few other bird species – just Carrion Crow, Magpie, Starling and Wood Pigeon. A total of 15 bird species.


Mammals:
 One, or maybe two, Water Voles were seen on Tang Hall Beck, where there were also sightings of Rabbit and Grey Squirrel.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral butterfly in the Environment Centre garden

Butterflies: Just one Speckled Wood was seen on the path above the Dragon Stones, and a Red Admiral was feeding around the Environment Centre garden.

Larger images of the last three photos can be seen on the St Nicks Camera Club Flickr page.

5 October 2011 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: blackcap, kingfisher, Wildwatch