Posts Tagged ‘Nuthatch’

Nuthatch

Posted: December 7, 2017 in Birds, Natural History
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On last weeks trip to Lynford in Norfolk, I had some wonderful views of Nuthatch.

In many ways, it resembles and behaves like a small woodpecker. Most commonly seen in woodland, although we do get the occasional one in the trees in the garden – probably foraging from the nearby woods. They are resident birds and it is estimated that there are approx 220,000 breeding pairs in the UK.

A crisp chilly morning and I was on my way to Norfolk / Suffolk borders with the local RSPB group. Our first stop (apart from a comfort stop) was at Lynford Arboretum in Norfolk. This is a known wintering site for the elusive Hawfinch, the largest of the UK finches. This autumn has seen an eruption from the continent with many more sightings than normal, so hopes were high. As we walked down the track, our attention is drawn to a Common Kestrel in a tree in the adjoining paddocks.

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And then it became clear that there were small birds in the top of an adjacent tree – these turned out to be a flock of Hawfinches. Unfortunately, they are too far for decent photos, but they can easily be identified through telescopes.

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Hawfinch. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

 

Six birds flew off, going away from us, and another 2 were still in the tree which brought the total seen to 8. I understand that a flock of up to 11 has been counted here in the past month.

Walking on down the path we came to the rear access to Lynford Hall Hotel and someone had put out some seed on one of the posts of the bridge over the stream. This attracted in a lot of woodland birds including Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch and Great Tit.

A Kingfisher was seen travelling back and forth along the stream and as we retraced our stops 2 Hawfinches were seen again in the top of a tree.

Making our way back into Suffolk we stopped at Lackford Lakes, a large complex of lakes adjacent to the River Lark. It is a good site for wintering waterfowl, but like many places in the UK, they don’t seem to have arrived yet in any great numbers, presumably due to the recent mild weather. Still a few have made it like this Drake Goldeneye which fed most of the day in front of Winter hide.

Another nice sighting was a small flock of Bullfinches seen near Paul’s hide

There were also a number of Marsh Tits at different places around the reserve but I couldn’t get any decent photos of them. Other birds seen included Tufted duck, Common Pochard, Eurasian Teal, Robin and Gadwall.

This was my first visit to both these sites and I look forward to visiting again in the future.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Hawfinch [sp] (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)

Parkland surrounding Launde Abbey

Parkland surrounding Launde Abbey

Whilst we were staying at Launde Abbey, we managed, on the days when the weather allowed, to go for some walks in the deer park. As might be expected, in this type of habitat, the wildlife is not numerous especially during winter but a pair of Ravens was a pleasing find as was a Nuthatch sitting in a tree first seen by Sue. Robins and Blackbirds were most numerous species in the gardens.

Nuthatch

Nuthatch

Blackbird

Blackbird

Robin

Robin

Raven. Photo by Daniel Plumer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dlplumer/)

Raven. Photo by Daniel Plumer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dlplumer/)

Each evening a Tawny Owl could be heard calling from the small wood in the gardens.

One final good record was as we were leaving to return home we flushed two Fieldfares from the roadside where they had been feeding.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Tawny Owl [sp] (Strix aluco)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Northern Raven [sp] (Corvus corax)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Yeaterday I went on a walk organised by the London Natural History Society along the River Crane starting from Whitton and finishing at Crane Island Local Nature Reserve.

River Crane

River Crane

River Crane

River Crane

The focus of the walk was insects although all aspects of natural history were noted.

Among the highlights of the day were a good number of Banded Demoiselle, which was the most numerous of 4 species of damselfly seen

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Female Banded Demiselle

Female Banded Demiselle

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly


A first sighting for me was the Tree Bumblebee which was found in good numbers along the river

Tree Bumblebee

Tree Bumblebee

Among other insects were spiders, beetles, flies and ladybirds

Harlequin Ladybirds

Harlequin Ladybirds

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There were also some interesting birds including this sighting of a young Nuthatch examining the outside world.

Young Nuthatch

Young Nuthatch

Thanks to Ian who lead the walk and to the other members for their help with indentification of beetles, spiders and other insects. A very good day.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)