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.