23rd December 2007

A full circuit today produced few birds but at least the weather was nice for a change.

Coppice Pond
The male Mute Swan is still present (no doubt sometime soon he'll be "named")
No sign of any geese or visiting waterfowl. Plenty of Moorhen and Coot among the army of Mallards.

Racecourse Plantation
Siskins were heard overhead. A party of Long-tailed Tits contained Goldcrests and Coal Tits.

Golf Course - fields adjacent to the second tee.
On the dry stone wall a pair of Little Owls sunning themselves were interupted by a Grey Squirrel. One flew off but the other just ignored it by pretending to be a stone.

Cuckoo's Nest Wood
Nuthatches were vocal but difficult to locate. However we saw at least 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

15th December 2007

A full wander around the estate grounds this morning produced the following sightings;

Coppice Pond
Although partially frozen it made counting the waterfowl easier. The lone Mute Swan remains but there was no Canada Geese again. There were 42 Mallards, 10 Coot and at least 7 Moorhen.

Racecourse Plantation
Feeding quietly in the pathside trees were 4 Redpoll which I nearly missed as I walked past them. thanks to a flock of Goldcrests I managed to see them.

Blind Lane
A flock of 75+ Redwings were feeding among the leaf litter under two large isolated trees in the fields either side of Blind Lane. they didn't appear to mind me as I got closer and closer and I had excellent views of this winter visiting Thrush.

Cuckoo's Nest Wood
Nuthatches and Treecreepers were very vocal though I didn't see many of either.

More Fungi images





17th November 2007

Nothing much to report today, the woods were very quiet. I did manage to see or hear some Redpolls at Coppice Pond and at the Racecourse Plantation.

The Mute Swan remains at Coppice Pond, though there was no sign of any Goosander, Tufted Ducks or Little Grebe.

3rd November 2007

I spent a couple of hours walking around the estate grounds counting birds for the BTO bird atlas. November isn't usually a great month to bird watch in St.Ives, however, I did find several parties of Siskin and Coppice Pond was very busy.

Coppice Pond
The Mute Swan remains, at least 10 Coot were present, as were 7 Moorhen.
The Black-headed Gull count reached over 50. Mallards numbers were high but Canada Geese numbers were low, with only 6 being seen.
A small flock of Siskins were in the Alders around the waters edge. A large flock of Long-tailed Tits contained few other species.

Racecourse Plantation
Another Tit flock contained all the common species, Blue, Coal, Great and Long-tailed.
More Siskins were heard.

Cuckoo Nest Wood
I heard just two Nuthatches throughout.

21st October 2007

I had a walk around parts of the estate with some other members of the Friends of St.Ives committee looking for some historical features. While we were searching I had one eye open for the wildlife, as you do.

Coppice Pond area;
The Mute Swan is still present. There were many Black-headed Gulls waiting for folk to come along and feed the Mallards and Canada Geese. In the nearby woods a party of Long-tailed Tits were very vocal as was a Fieldfare. Jays were seen foraging in the horse fields.

Friends Wood area;
A Little Owl sat on the dry stone wall was a welcome sight, as it's been a few months since I last saw one in the area.

Racecourse Plantation; Siskins were present.

22nd September 2007

An early evening walk from Coppice Pond clockwise past Lady Blantyre's Rock, past the Heather Park and through Racecourse Plantation produced the following;

Coppice Pond
The Mute Swan that has remained all summer still has yet to attract a mate. When he does it'll be interesting to see how the breeding Canada Geese react.

Lady Blantyre's Rock area
Several Siskins were heard flying over.

Racecourse Plantation
Even more Siskins were heard overhead, these I presume are migrants from the north.

Kettlewell Reservoir area
A Kestrel was seen sat on the wires.

9th September 2007

Some more good observations by a fellow birder;

A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and three Crossbills were seen bathing in the dis-used Kettlewell Reservoir.

Long-eared Owl

A birding friend of mine visited St.Ives on 21st August sometime in the afternoon. Not expecting to see a great deal given the time of day and year he didn't take his binoculars. This is always a mistake when a birder as you're bound to need them, and he did. A young Long-eared Owl was calling and flying around near Lady Blantyre's Rock.

July so far....

I've not been around St.Ives for a while, partly due to the weather, partly to do with the breeding season making it harder to see woodland species.

Recently there has been a lone Mute Swan on Coppice Pond, this is a first for me in over twenty years! Also a male Tufted Duck was present early July, that left me wondering if they had stayed to breed but I could find no sign of a female on a nest and so far there hasn't been any sightings of her with young.

I ventured in on Sunday 15th to help set up for the Pageant. Though I didn't see many birds I did notice the following as I was going about my duties:

Sparrowhawk circling over Blind Lane. The Swallows have been successful as there were many of them flying around the stables. A Grey Wagtail kept visiting the Mansion area where I was directing traffic. There were at least three Chiffchaff singing. Jays and Nuthatches were making a lot of noise.

I also had a couple of sightings of a fox.

10th June 2007

An early morning wander produced many sightings of juveniles fledged from nests of various species. No sightings of either Flycatchers though.

25th May 2007

Spotted Flycatcher was seen this morning in Cuckoo Nest Wood, between next box 36 and the steps up to the Ferrand's Oak.

Photos by S Ipson


Song Thrush


Pied Flycatcher

19th May 2007

Another scheduled bird walk for the Friends of St.Ives, this one being attended by three Bradford Ornithological Group members. This week we dropped down into Cuckoo Nest Wood to try and see the Pied Flycatcher first and then walked up past the reservoir and Racecourse plantation and down to Lady Blantyre and finally Coppice Pond.

Cuckoo Nest Wood
Unfortunately the high winds kept many of the songbirds from singing and those that were singing were harder to hear. However, after what seemed an eternity we found the male Pied Flycatcher as he sang. He'd been very elusive as this week he has moved to the woods up hill from nest box 39 and is no longer right next to the path. We discovered a Blue Tit pair are using box 14. Male Blackcap and Chiffchaff were using the same tree to sing from. Nuthatches were seen throughout and we had one sigting of a Jay.

Betty's Lodge
After entering the woods near Betty's Lodge we saw a family party of Long-tailed Tits

White Cotes Barn
A male Sparrowhawk was viewed for a while as it past us and headed away over the woods around Betty's Lodge.

Crossgates Barn
A male Kestrel was seen hunting toward the golf course. A pair of Swallows were feeding close by.

Racecourse Plantation
Goldcrest and Treecreeper were heard and then seen. A distant song drowned out by the wind may have been a Redstart.

Coppice Pond
3 pairs of Canada Geese had 3, 7 and 2 juveniles in tow. No sign of the Tufted Ducks.


I totalled up later and reckon we had at least 12 singing male Blackcaps and 6 Chiffchaffs.

12th & 13th May 2007

Pied Flycatcher has arrived in St.Ives!!!!

After two years of hoping we currently have a male singing outside nest box 36. Fingers crossed he'll attract a mate and or more males into the woods as there is plenty of real estate available.
Box 36 is east of the old barn in Cuckoo Nest Wood.

In general there are several singing Blackcaps and Willow Warblers with at least 6 male Chiffchaff. Only one Garden Warbler has returned so far and only one Whitethroat is singing on the southern edge of the estate. Wood Warblers are yet to come back.

I'm still waiting for the Spotted Flycatchers to return as well as Tree Pipit. There is still no sign of Redstarts after a few years of them not returning.

Other boxes currently being used are as follows:

Blue Tits are in boxes 66, 59, 40, 37 and 4
Great Tits are in box 34

These are only my observations, if you know of more please do get in touch.
Thanks!

6th May 2007

A quick wonder around the circuit today hoping to stop for the likes of Tree Pipit, Redstart, Pied & Spotted Flycatchers as well as Wood Warblers.

None of the above were seen! It appears that we're back to normal after a few weeeks of early arrivals during April, with St.Ives lagging behind everywhere else for migrants of course!

Cuckoo Nest Wood -
typical species such as Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch were all seen

Coppice Pond -
The pair of Tufted Duck are still hanging around but no sign of breeding yet

Heather Park -
plenty of Meadow Pipits and Willow Warblers but no Tree Pipit, yet.

Two Barns Area -
no sign of the Garden Warbler heard during my last visit.

Kettlewell Res -
a male Kestrel passed overhead.

28th April 2007

Another complete circuit was done this weekend, starting in the new car park and heading into Cuckoo Nest Wood.

Cuckoo Nest Wood: Plenty of Blackcaps singing as more had obvisouly arrived recently, I listened to one break into his mimicry song as a female approached. There seems to be bit more activety at the nest boxes with a Blue Tit at box 34 and Great Tit at box 5. There were at least 3 Chiffchaff singing.

Coppice Pond: The Canada Geese have bred with at least one family of goslings hatched. The Tufted Ducks were not seen but hopefully they are still present. Coot and Moorhen have both nested.

Coppice Bog: Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler singing.

Heather Park: several Willow Warblers singing

Two Barns area: Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warblers were all in full song, and a Garden Warbler has thankfully returned.

I'm hopeful that in the coming weeks I'll be seeing other summer migrants such as Tree Pipits, Redstarts, Wood Warblers, Spotted Flycatchers and (fingers crossed) Pied Flycatchers. It'll be interesting this year to see how many Spotted Flycatchers turn up as at one point last year there were 6 singing males, which was extraordinary.

12th April 2007

I managed a complete circuit today while having a break from work. Starting frm the new car park I walked clockwise around the Estate.

Cuckoo Nest Wood:
plenty of Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Three Chiffchaff were in song.

Coppice Pond:
We appear to be down to just the birds that are staying to breed as numbers have dropped. Coot and Moorhen are nesting as are abou three pairs of Canada Geese.

Coppice Bog: Chiffchaff singing

Heather Park: several Meadow Pipits singing

Druid's Altar:
At least 4 Willow Warblers were singing, the latest arrivals for the summer.

Crossgates Barn Area:
Both Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing.

Ewe Hills Plantation:
I counted 14 Jay together in a very vocal group.

Not a bad walk that took 2 hours to complete. I counted 7 Chiffchaff in total and 4 Blackcaps. The group of Jays I found very interesting watching as they appeared to be pairing off and dispersing. Song Thrushes were singing all over the Estate grounds.

24th & 25th March 2007

Saturday 24th March:

As I was on official business around Coppice Pond a friend of mine wandered the Estate birding. Unfortunately for me he managed to see a Red Kite heading north up the Aire Valley away from St.Ives. I have yet to see a Red Kite on "my patch"! He also managed to see a male Blackcap, the first to return this spring, singing to itself near the Druid's Altar exit. On Coppice Pond there were a pair of Tufted Duck. Together we saw a Chiffchaff in Cuckoo Nest Wood.

Sunday 25th March:

I wandered around the Estate hoping to repeat the luck my former friend had as noted above. Sadly I didn't. I did manage to see and hear a singing Chiffchaff which was my first singing one in the Estate this year at Coppice Bog. I also bumped into a flock of 12+Redpoll as well as a couple of Siskin. Generally the woods are alive with bird song in the mornings at the moment and this should slowly get evn better as move through April and into May.

10th March 2007

Quite a late start for me this morning, as late as 9.30am! Thankfully the birds were still on show and in song. I managed a complete circuit starting from the new car park clockwise around the Estate.

Cuckoo Nest Wood
Nuthatches and Woodpeckers were announcing themselves often. The whole wood seemed to be alive with bird song. No sign of any Chiffchaff yet but it is still early for them. Jays were visible and noisy and a female Sparrowhawk was spotted on her rounds. A dead Grey Squirrel was found at the path side, completely unmarked.

Coppice Pond - A pair of Tufted Ducks were looking a bit nervous as the dog walker numbers were rising. Still good numbers of Canada Geese but no sign of the Grebe or Goosanders. Spawn of either frog or toad was seen in the shallow areas.

Coppice Bog - Bullfinch were heard.

Lady Blantyre's Rock area - Two Bullfinches were calling with the male breaking out into what could be called a song but it's very basic. 3 Coal Tits were very vocal.

Racecourse Plantation - A Skylark was heard singing in the fields to the north. A flock of Redwings appeared near the pylon.

Blind Lane - 3 Redpoll were chasing each other near the dis-used reservoir. Pied Wagtails have returned to the Estate and were feeding on the lawns of the Turf Research grounds.

A pleasant walk during a mild morning which wasn't very sunny. Plenty of bird life activity.

24th February 2007

Though quite mild, this morning was miserable with drizzle and mist. I limited my birding to Cuckoo Nest Wood and Coppice Pond.

Cuckoo Nest Wood:
Great Spotted Woodpeckers weren't put off by the weather and were drumming in at least three locations. I also saw two pairs of Jays. Nuthatches were present but for a change were hard to find. Song Thrushes were belting out their songs throughout the woods.

Coppice Pond:
3 Tufted Ducks were a mild surprise, two males and a female. The Little Grebe from last weeks visit wasn't there but 36 Canada Geese were as well as the resident crowd of Mallards, Moorhens and Coots.

At the bog end of the pond I had a close encounter with a Treecreeper which was a couple of metres away minding its own business.

Play ground area:
A flock of 40 Chaffinches included just one Brambling.

17th February 2007

This morning was a much nicer day than of late, being quite sunny and mild. With this hint of spring in the air the bird life in St.Ives performed well with many species singing.

Cuckoo Nest Wood - Several Nuthatches were very vocal and Jays were present all over. A female Sparrowhawk was being mobbed by a couple of Jays and several crows. Great Spotted Woodepckers were drumming at various places.

Coppice Pond - a Little Grebe was present and being quite adventurous as it wasn't tucked away in a corner of the lake. A female Goosander also surprisd me as she didn't fly away when harrassed by a swimming dog. The owner of which seemed oblivious to the signs asking for dogs to kept out of the water. There are currently at least 36 Canada Geese on the lake with a couple defending territory on the island already. Coots and Moorhens alongside the Mallards are still around in good numbers.

Coppice Bog - a male Bullfinch stopped off briefly in the tree tops but not long enough forme to get good views. Two Song Thrushes were seriously belting out their song either side of the bog.

Heather Park - A pair of Goldcrests showed well in the path side trees. I heard at leats three Skylarks calling overhead, no doubt returning to their breeding grounds somewhere.

Racecourse Plantation - At least one Skylark was heard singing in the fields north of St.Ives from the plantation. Chaffinches were singing in the woods as well as a couple more Song Thrushes. A flck of Redwing were in the Beech trees over looking Altar Lane and were singing among themselves. In these same trees there were plenty of Tits and a few Nuthatches.

Blind Lane - A pair of Siskins were flying around chasing each other. A Dunnock was singing a duet with another across the fields.

Todays list: Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard, Goosander, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Stock Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Redwing, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Greenfinch, Bullfinch.

4th February 2007

Today was my first walk around the estate in some time. I have visited to check one or two areas but not done the full circuit. I parked in the new car park and walked clockwise through Cuckoo's Nest Wood, past Coppice Pond, past Lady Blantyre's etc.....

Cuckoo's Nest Wood - a least two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming. I saw a pair together on a dead tree limb. Sadly the storms we had have blown a couple of trees down, one of which has totalled one of the nest boxes off another tree! nuthatches were in good voice as were the Song Thrushes who were really belting out their songs. Jays were not so shy today.

Coppice Pond - At least 38 Canada Geese were on the pond, more than recent weeks.

Ewe Hills - A large flock of Redwing were singing among themselves as they do on the warmer winter days.

Blind Lane - more Redwings in the fields. A small flock of Redpoll were joined by Siskins nearer Kettlewell Res.

4th February 2007

Today was my first walk around the estate in some time. I have visited to check one or two areas but not done the full circuit. I parked in the new car park and walked clockwise through Cuckoo's Nest Wood, past Coppice Pond, past Lady Blantyre's etc.....

Cuckoo's Nest Wood - a least two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming. I saw a pair together on a dead tree limb. Sadly the storms we had have blown a couple of trees down, one of which has totalled one of the nest boxes off another tree! nuthatches were in good voice as were the Song Thrushes who were really belting out their songs. Jays were not so shy today.

Coppice Pond - At least 38 Canada Geese were on the pond, more than recent weeks.

Ewe Hills - A large flock of Redwing were singing among themselves as they do on the warmer winter days.

Blind Lane - more Redwings in the fields. A small flock of Redpoll were joined by Siskins nearer Kettlewell Res.