Attenborough Amble

I had to dodge a few showers on my walk around ANR today but it was worth it. I saw a little egret catching fish, swallows, pied wagtail, green sandpiper, Cape shelduck, kestrel and, best of all, a couple of young whitethroat being fed. Here are some of the better pictures.

Cape shelduck, juvenile whitethroat, ditto, ditto, swallow and pied wagtail. The last two birds were perched on the same notice board above the weir.

Owl be seeing you …………….

For the second year in succession tawny owls have bred two babies in the nest box provided by my neighbour in his garden. Today I was called over to see them roosting in a lime tree.

I saw both the owlets but only one of them gave me a clear shot. You can see some adult feathers emerging from the downy fluff.

This is presumably the female watching us watching them.

While we were musing over the owls a jay popped and stole some cherries from the garden. I suspect that this is not the first or the last time it has raided the cherry trees. So much for offering hospitality to wildlife!

Young Ones ………………

This juvenile robin taking advantage of the ‘natural’ perch I created on the feeder post today. It looks faintly annoyed don’t you think?

House martins are still nesting under the eves of a carpet shop in Beeston as they have done for many years according to the owner. These pictures were taken this morning from street level. This baby is being well fed judging by the pile of droppings on the windowsill below the nest.

Grebe Nest at ANR

I have  not seen any baby great crested grebe so far this year which is probably due to high water levels destroying their nests. However I saw three nests on my walk around the reserve today.

This nest is close to a pathway so I got a clear view and when the sitting bird decided to check on the eggs I counted three. Let’s hope they all hatch and survive into those cute little mint humbugs that like to ride on the parent’s back

Here are some of the butterflies that were brought out by the sunny weather: painted lady, ringlet and speckled wood.

A number of juvenile birds are frequenting the garden, particularly bluetits but this baby robin takes the prize for cuteness.

A Family Affair

Apart from a short window in the weather on Sunday 9th when we had an amble around Attenborough NR the weather has hardly been conducive to bird watching. However, as often happens, bad weather drives birds into gardens where there are easy pickings at bird tables and the like. The most numerous visitors have been starlings, including a lot of young but the most spectacular have been great spotted woodpeckers.

L to R – Mum in the apple tree, Dad with red patch on the back of his head and then the two children with full red caps. I have only seen two juveniles together so I presume this is the whole family.

I have loads of pictures including these two shots taken this morning. It looks like the one on the left might be a male as he seems to be developing a red patch on the back of his head – ‘just like his father.’

This is what they are going for in the main. I smear it on the post and in holes I have drilled. When this runs out they go for the half coconuts – if they can get past the starlings.

Woodpecker

In the last few days a juvenile great spotted woodpecker has become a regular visitor in the garden. It seems to have taken to the ‘flutter butter’ that I put in the holes in the bird feeder post. The red cap identifies it as a juvenile.

Just as I am writing this it returned for another feed and then washed it down with a drink from the bird bath.