Bird Blog | April
Well everything is in full swing, most of the birds on the lake have paired up – Canadas and Greylags have now started to nest around the lake, in the margins and on the islands.
Our black swans, Sydney and Adelaide, seen to be going through the motions of nest building, but we will find out later. Our Mute Swans are also building their nest on the upper lake and duck – Mallard, Shelduck and Gadwall have also been seen building nests.
On the 25th March we had a visit from the Osprey so hope to see more of them around the lake. Our small nest boxes have a few birds in them, mainly blue tits and a wren in one of them in the Pleasure Grounds. We still have the barn owls in two boxes, a little owl in one and a pair of jackdaws. The several large chimneys on the House seem to make a good spot for the jackdaws!
Around the Parkland hares are still ‘boxing’ and going through their courtship. Squirrels and small mammals are nest and home building. A nice sight on the lakes was to see the otter, who passes through on the odd occasion. Kingfishers have made an appearance on the canal on the south lawn.
With the weather being so mild, everything is in advance and very little rain has made the lake level stay consistent. A bird to listen out for is the cuckoo. The cuckoo is widely known as the harbinger of spring, and hopefully we should also see the return of swallow, housemartin and swifts.
Bird Focus – The Blackcap
A tiny songster, with an average length of five inches. They appear in Great Britain every summer, also known as the ‘monk’ because of it’s grey plumage and black cap. Occasionally, they will overwinter, mainly in the South-west. The nest is a well woven, small structure of hair, dried grass and is well concealed. They lay three to five eggs – olive green or yellow with red-brown speckles laid in late May.
Well, it’s the time of the year when all the birds are busy coming out of their winter plumage to summer, days are longer which makes more time to watch them. So good birdwatching, there’s a lot out there to see.