Patching You In

A brief visit to Cranford Park this morning but there was no little activity to be seen.

The Great Spotted Woodpeckers are now well established in their nest and I watched the male bringing food to the nest, his mate greeting him at the hole as he arrived.

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And in he went:

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Whilst watching the woodpeckers I was joined by a young, recently fledged Great Tit.

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Taking in the surroundings of a new world, this youngster sat as if trying to gather its senses. Both the soft, fluffy feathers and the under-developed bill suggest that this one is not long out of the nest.

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It wasn’t only the bird life that was watching me either.

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Our potential Wren nest is now completely overgrown as the woods become greener and more overgrown. Our last sighting of the nest a few weeks ago suggested that it hadn’t been selected or at least had been abandoned.

Both Blackcap and Chiffchaff can still be heard calling in the woods but not as regularly or insistently now as pairings have been made and the business of raising young has begun. This Chiffchaff however was twisting and contorting among the trees whilst calling away.

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The Green Woodpecker hole continues to be a site of almost permanent action and interest. Observing today I witnessed Parakeet and Jackdaw taking interest in the hole. There are also territorial disputes continuing between the incumbent male and another Green Woodpecker. I watched them chase each other between the trees and also perform their head-nodding “tree-duel” routine where they confront each other on opposite sides of a tree trunk and mirror aggressive head nods at each other.

Only once did I see the male arrive at the hole, greeted by the female, just like their Great Spotted cousins did earlier.

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This time however, I watched the female leave the hole and the male go in. Green Woodpeckers share the incubation of their eggs so this looked very much like a shift change.

The woodland was also alive with singing Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush and as always, Robin.

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As I made my way through the woods towards the Headland, Jackdaw and Crow were taking to the air to mob one of the local Buzzards. As I made it into the open space of the park a male Kestrel zipped across to where we suspect a nest of these raptors to be.

That was pretty much all of our resident nesting birds checking in. I made my way across the park, Whitethroats singing away to my left, and down to the River Crane.

Here a Grey Heron was fishing about half way down. The first time I have seen one here.

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I was watching the heron through my binoculars when a shimmering blue dart appeared and disappeared from view. Scanning the vegetation across and it fleetingly appeared again. Kingfisher! We have had a pair in the park up until around March this year, this was the first sighting I am aware of since then. Unfortunately I was unable to track this colourful bird down again but each visit to Cranford Park will have to include some time spent at the two bridges just in case.

The coming weeks will hopefully bring us a little more visible activity from the Little Owls. Sue has spotted them on a few occasions and we have managed to witness the owlets for the last two years. With the woodpeckers and the Kestrels all showing signs of impending parenthood we should be in for some interesting sightings.

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