It’s been busy in the garden lately

In the last couple of days it has been ideal weather for comfortable, armchair birdwatching through double glazing with the central heating on. Hope you enjoy what I have seen through the window over the last 48 hours.

A May Morning at Attenborough

On Thursday (13th) We had a very pleasant walk down the main path at ANR to the Trent and back enjoying the sweet scent of the prolific May blossom, which means we could have “Cast a clout” * should we have felt so inclined.

A small group of the large number of Canada goose goslings hanging around the car park.

From the first screen I was delighted to get my first ever view of a great white egret on the reserve. This is a sequence taken from a wobbly (hand held) video clip showing it catching a fish. It was quite small but you can just about make it out on the penultimate image.

Egyptian goose deftly balancing on one leg.

Finally, one of my better action shots, of a mute swan in flight.

* From the old English proverb “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out”. ‘May’ can refer to the blossom or the month and ‘clout’ refers to an item of clothing – possibly your woolly vest. 🙂

Perry’s Progress

One week since hatching the peregrine chick on Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building appears to be thriving which is not surprising since it has two attentive parents attending to its every need.

The chick could be heard cheeping away as it begged for more. Would it be too much of a Twist to rename it Oliver? 🙂

A Corvid Collection

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, magpies and jackdaws to name a few. Corvids are known for their high intellect and often thought of as the smartest birds. For example I have seen them taking a dry crust taken from the lawn and dunk it in the birdbath to make it more palatable. Today I have seen three examples in the garden (between the showers!)

Carrion crow on the apple tree.
Magpie in a hurry.
One of two jackdaws visiting the garden today.

May Miscellany

Firstly I am grateful to two fellow Twitter users for agreeing to me sharing these delightful images, on a common theme, that they tweeted over the weekend.

Mute swan with 8 cygnets tweeted by Kym @Kymmiegwelsh. Screenshot taken from a video clip
Goosander with duckling on board tweeted by Andy Hall @piedfly99
Female house sparrow shaking off the rain on Saturday

A selection of garden visitors over the last 7 days. The butterfly is a green veined white.

And finally I looked up from my laptop as I was preparing this posting and saw a hedgehog nibbling away at the foot of the bird feeder post. It looks in very good condition. Let’s hope it has lots of little hoglets 🙂

PS View from my back door 18:30 May 10th followed by a short but heavy shower.

Solution to ‘Birds from Odd Angles’ Quiz

In case you couldn’t identify all of my feathered friends from these pictures here they are again with captions.

The waxwing migrates to the UK from Scandinavia in late winter/early Spring if the weather is bad in its home territory. It is a treat to see them feasting on Rowan berries or when I saw them at ANR in March 2017 (my one and only sighting) on wild rosehips. The baby goldfinch is being fed by the adult above it on our apple tree. I didn’t expect anyone except an experienced bird watcher to recognise the ferruginous duck. Again this is a once only sighting (ANR April 2019). It was one of a pair – see picture (of the female) below. According to Wikipedia they are from ‘Eurosiberia’ and the name derives from the colour of rust (Fe – iron, ferrous). Now you know more than I do about this foreign duck. 😉

A Busy First Week of May

We now seem to have a resident pair of house sparrows nesting nearby judging by the feathers they are gathering from the lawn. This is a first since we have been taking notice of the wildlife in the garden.


A magpie made short work of the remains of our Sunday joint.


This handsome jackdaw seems quite at home making use of the bird feeders. They are normally quite shy but we are seeing it often.

Goldfinches don’t often come to the feeding station, generally preferring the feeders on the apple tree. This one struck a few poses in very good light enabling me to take some clear pictures.

A pair of great crested grebe doing a bit of pair bonding at ANR. The bright spots are water droplets scattered by their ritualistic head shaking.

The NTU peregrine chick, hatched on Thursday 6th, seems to be thriving. One of the web cams is now zoomed in and also has sound so the chick can be heard as well as seen begging for food.

Keep an eye on ‘Perry’s Progress’ by following this link. Peregrine Nest Cam | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Happy Birthday Dear ‘Perry’ ………

The Notts Wildlife Trust peregrine pair nesting on the Nottingham Trent University Newton Building have hatched their first chick today 05/05/2021.

The first shot was around 15:43 and the remainder with a bit of to-ing and fro-ing spread over a few minutes starting at approximately 16:10. One of the pair then resumed brooding.