Saturday, 19 April 2014


This old traffic ballard has sat against this wall at the country park for several months. Whilst trying to move it out of the way to mow the nearby grass, to my great surprise a great tit shot out from its very cleverly concealed nest inside, on Saturday 18th. A very unexpected nesting site!

Having accidentally startled the great tit away, I took this hurried record shot of this very unusual nest location. The striking feature of the nest construction was the amount of moss and feathers making up the thick base with a cosy centre for the eggs. The whole of the base was crammed full with material several inches high and all brought in through the small hole in the top of the cone.
After carefully replacing the cone back in the same spot, lots of small branches and bits of plants were placed back around the cone to keep it hidden from view, as it had been previously.
It was good to see the bird back at the nest later in the day.

Another bird seen on the nest was the mute swan at the park pond. The nest is hidden from view from the hide on one of the small islands tucked behind a bramble bush. Not sure how long its been sitting or even if there are any eggs yet.

Also on the pond were 5 pochard and 8 tufted ducks, while two swallows flew over early evening.

Up to thirty black-tailed godwits have been feeding in the fields with these birds pictured above probing the very wet soil for worms. Also seen were 2 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 2 redshank, 2 shoveler, 25 teal.
Two yellow wagtails were reported earlier in the afternoon.

The nightingale was heard singing from the Shop Lane wood at dusk on Saturday, first reported a few days ago by Peter Mann. It was a bit tricky trying to hear much of the nightingale song over the loud squawking from the nesting rooks in the trees above.

On Friday 18th a willow warbler spent the day singing at the park, sand martin flew over the car park chattering, two red-legged partridge were seen in flight west of the car park, the first common tern was seen in the Colne and an avocet was on the saltmarsh pool near the Golfhouse. Ten linnets and two male reed buntings were at the Point.

Martin Cock noted several lesser whitethroats, whitethroats, blackcaps and chiffchaffs between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane on Friday morning. On Wednesday a cuckoo and willow warbler were noted at Maydays farm.

This buck muntjac was in view for a good ten minutes along the hedgeline near the park pond towards the end of Saturday.

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