May Bird Walks

There are two more birds walks organised in May, 13th and 20th, and another on June 3rd. If you are interested in joining me please get in touch by email (see my profile), by posting a comment on this blogger or by phoning and leaving a message on 01535 274525.


29th April 2006 - Bird Walk

Two people joined me on today's bird walk starting at 7am from Coppice pond as usual. As we waited for more folk to join us we watched several pairs of Canada Geese having territorial disputes as their population increases leads to breeding season tension. Also noted was a Coots nest on the edge of the island.

Sadly despite it being two weeks since the last walk there doesn't appear to be many new arrivals. Willow Warblers are back in force as they were last weekend but Blackcap and Chiffchaff numbers remain low. I have had reports of Chiffchaff numbers being in double figures again but today there were only about 4 singing. 8 males Blackcaps were heard and just one female seen.

The best bird of the walk was heard at the Racecourse Plantation, where the "buzzing" of Redpoll was heard briefly. Swallows were noted over the woods. a small number of nest boxes are being used but I have yet to go in and check to see how many and by whom.

We did see a Nuthatch taking nesting material into a natural hole in a tree known to me as a nesting site for them a few years ago. The entrance hole has been tidied up by the new home owners. Jays were far more prominant than of late with at least 6 being seen or heard all around the estate grounds. Great Spotted Woodpeckers were everywhere.

8th April 2006 - Bird Walk

The spell of warm weather with southerly winds disappeared in time for this weekends bird walk and the cold wet northly weather returned. This meant any of the summer migrants that may have returned in that small window of decent weather didn't make thier presence known by singing. I was very lucky to see the one Chiffchaff that I did as it flew across the path in front of me. This time last year there were nine singing male Chiffchaffs around the estate grounds.

Though the weather was actually quite kind to me as I made my way around the birds were not performing as they usually are and not many were singing. The main highlight was my first ever Great Crested Grebe on Coppice Pond, not only that it is the only one in Bradford Ornithological Group's records as well. It's be nice to see a pair of them stay and breed, but it'll have to attract a mate first! Also on Coppice Pond one pair of Canada Geese are nesting on the island but all the others appear to be just contnent with pairing up and squabbling if they get too close to another's intended. Both Coot and Moorhen are well underway with nest building.

It was a good day to find Woodpeckers with both Great Spotted and Green very vocal and or drumming. Siskin's were also present but in small numbers and they were hard to find, thankfully they were vocal. The nest box numbers have swollen to 200 in recent weeks but there appeared to be very little interest in any of the new or old boxes, but it is early days yet.

Bird Walks in April

There are to be two Friends of St.Ives bird walks in April 2006.
Both take place on Saturdays on the 8th and 29th.

They start at Coppice Pond at 7am near the gateway.

If you are interested then please get in touch by posting a comment.

A cold March


I didn't get chance to do much watching in St.Ives this March due to the poor weather and work commitments. With prolonged wintery weather coming from the North the usual late March influx of spring migrants didn't happen. For the first time in years I didn't see or hear a Chiffchaff singing, by 30th March 2005 there were nine singing males present.

The resident species have started to nest but even their dawn chorus isn't as welcoming as usual. April hasn't started much better than March ended and there is the promise of more cold weather to come.

I hope that the winds swing southerly and the air gets warmer in time for the first Friends of St.Ives bird walk on Saturday April 8th.