The Crow Family of Birds

I hesitate to use the scientific term for the Crow Family of birds because it is too similar to the virus that plagues us at the moment. Google ‘Crow Family’ and you will see what I mean. Today a couple of Jackdaws popped into the garden to have a go at the coconut shell but were soon seen off by their more colourful cousin, a Magpie.

We have had a Crow in the garden recently but not the other common family member the Jay. The blue Ceonothus flowers are past their best but they have been alive with bees

Beeston Birdman Back Again

Well I really haven’t gone away. My camera has been playing up but I am coping until I can get it repaired. This is on top of the current restrictions that are affecting us all and some health issues. I have had the odd good spot (e.g. GS & Green Woodpecker) in the garden but this Sparrowhawk was the only decent picture I managed to get.

I took a brief trip to Highfields today (29/05). The new extended water area by the Tottle Brook was almost dry but I did spot a Mandarin Duck family nearby with two young and a rather colourful shot of an Egyptian Goose pair with young in the Stepping Stones area.

If you wish to see some of the latest spots from Attenborough including the Slavonian Grebe in his summer plumage and other Notts sightings have a look at http://www.nottsbirders.net/latest_sightings.html and click on the 2020 Gallery link. There are some of my shots in there!

Red Admiral in the Garden

Under the current circumstances I’m sure you will understand that any wildlife postings I am able to make will mainly be garden based.

Yesterday we saw our first Brimstone butterfly of the year in the garden and this morning our first Red Admiral spent some time feeding on some pink flowers allowing me to take several shots in the lovely sunshine.

Song Thrush

It looks as if we are going to be confined to barracks for a while so it is good that the wildlife is coming to us. My neighbour (the one with the owl box) heard this song thrush singing at the bottom of our garden from across the street and drew it to my attention. I’ve not seen one in the garden since 2018 when the ‘Beast from the East’ drove many birds into gardens for food and shelter.

Wollaton Park Wandering

I failed to see the reported Mandarin Ducks and Rose Ringed Parakeets on my trip to Wollaton Park this morning (16/03) but a roosting Tawny Owl and two Treecreepers were more than adequate substitutes.

This could well be the bird that I saw occupying the same daytime roost in February 2018. I took many shots hoping for one with open eyes but without success

It is difficult to get a clear shot of a Treecreeper as they are such fast movers but today two of them obliged. This is the first time I have seen one other than on a tree but the right hand example was clearly finding plenty to eat in the crevices of the park’s ancient boundary wall.

The presence of male and female Red Crested Pochard holds out the possibility of some RCP ducklings in the coming weeks!

Great Crested Grebes

On my walk around Attenborough NR this afternoon (13/03) I was pleased to observe the beginnings of pair bonding among the Great Crested grebes. They spent some minutes face to face copying each others’ movements. Spring is in the air!

The resident Buzzard was on one of its favoured telegraph pole perches, the usual selection of small birds were enjoying the seeds placed on fence posts – including both male and female Reed Buntings – and a female Bullfinch was enjoying the fresh shoots on a hawthorn. The most abundant sight however was a veritable army of volunteer litter pickers – well done to them!

H…I…Jay!

This Jay popped into the garden at lunchtime today (06/03). It did not make much effort to find food. I think it was sunbathing.

Anyone commenting about the length of the grass will be offered the lawnmower!

Little & Large

Being a sunny day (02/03) I spent most of it at Attenborough Nature Reserve.

I was pleased to see a ‘little’ bird that I have not seen for some time. This Nuthatch was contemplating trying some of the seed I had put on a bird table but I always prefer to photograph birds in a ‘natural’ setting like this.

At the other end of the scale the ‘large’ bird picture of the day was of one of three Buzzards that gave a good aerobatic display over the eastern end of the reserve where I was mainly photographing the Stonechats (again).

You may be interested to know that the Peregrine Falcons are nesting again on the Newton Building of Nottingham Trent University (my Alma Mater). https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/peregrine-cam is the web cam link but please be aware that when they start feeding the chicks (on the local pigeons) it might get a bit gory.