Blue Tit at the feeders

Brambling 09/11/2008

A male Brambling was found at the new feeding station. Here it is pictured with a Coal Tit.

Goosander on Coppice Pond

Coot on Coppice Pond

October News

Thanks to a winning bid FoSI were awarded funds via the WREN project. Part of our plan was to have a bird hide over looking a feeding area. On the 21st October the bird hide was officially opened. The hide is along the main path past Coppice Pond. It has already been a success with people and the birds! Below are some images taken from the hide.

Great Spotted Woodpecker


Blue Tit

Missing migrants

This year St.Ives appears to have missed out on some birds it used to attract.
Redstarts, Tree Pipit, Wood Warbler, Cuckoo and Pied Flycatcher all used to be annual visitors. Pied Flycatchers were hopefully going to be encouraged back into Cuckoo Nest Wood with the erection of about 200 nest boxes. In 2007 we did get a male singing for about ten days but he didn't return this year. The first four mentioned have been missing for a few years now with only Wood Warbler putting in appearances though these have finally dwindled to zero this year.

On top of that this year St.Ives didn't have any singing Garden Warblers at all to my knowledge. Though we have gained Whitethroat these are only turning up and singing and not holding territory.

Dawn Chorus 2008

Two guided walks took place on the 3rd and 10th May which were tied into the International Dawn Chorus Day, which was promoted by the BBC.

Both walks were well attended by 9 and 7 people.

Complete novices and birding beginners were introduced to the various bird songs as we made our way around the estate grounds. Though nothing rare was seen or heard, those whom attended marvelled at the songs of Song Thrush and Blackcap. By the end of the walks many were picking out "their own" Chiffchaffs.

The awe factor was provided by the female Goosander and her 11 ducklings all sat out in the sunshine preening.

Sadly, the star summer migrants haven't arrived even now, so we didn't get to listen to Pied Flycatchers, Redstart, Wood Warbler or Garden Warbler

First breeding Goosanders at St.Ives

Image supplied by I.Hargreaves with thanks

April 2008

With March being much colder this year than of late, summer migrant species were late to return. April started in a similar vein but eventually migrants started arriving. Chiffchaffs & Blackcaps normally arrive in March but didn't start turning up until mid-April. By the end of April there were at least 9 singing Chiffchaff and 4 singing Blackcaps. Willow Warblers were also back but not in good numbers.

There have been a few sightings of a Common Buzzard over St.Ives and the surrounding area, though nobody has managed to see a pair.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers have been drumming in several locations around the estate.
I have only heard the Green Woodpecker once though.

Coots, Canada Geese and Moorhens are all sat on nests.

When the weather improves we should have an influx of migrants, fingers crossed it'll be soon...............

24th March 2008

A full circuit starting from the new car park, clockwise through Cuckoo Nest Wood, past Coppice Pond & bog, past Lady Blantyre's Rock and into Racecourse Plantation via Heather Park.

Cuckoo Nest Wood; Plenty of bird song from Song and Mistle Thrushes. At least two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming. Nuthatches were also in good voice and quite active.

Coppice Pond; A pair of Goosanders graced the pond. 29 Canada Geese made their presence felt but the Mallard numbers appeared to be low. Coot numbers were good with 12 present.

Lady Blantyre's Rock; Both Siskin and Redpoll flew over head.

Racecourse Plantation; Another woodpecker was drumming.

On the whole spring was in the air but not summer as both Chiffchaff and Blackcaps have yet to arrive.

January 2008

The Mute Swan has departed and has not returned, and he has not returned to East Riddlesden Hall where he spent his adolescence.

Goosanders have been seen occasionally usually in pairs on Coppice Pond.

The Canada Geese have returned in force with at least 22 present most days.

In the woods Siskins have been found in flocks of 20+ around the Lady Blantyre's Rock area and in Racecourse Plantation. One or two Redpoll have been seen with them.

Many birds have started singing now with good numbers of Robin, Chaffinch joining the Song Thrushes and Blackbirds in the dawn chorus.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers are now drumming in the woods.

Some birds have started pairing off and even nest prospecting though it'll be a while before they start breeding.

On the sunny warmer days one or two Butterflies have been seen.