Bird Blog – December
Hello to December!
In the last few days of November we had a few frosts and a cold easterly wind, this brought in to Deene Park several pairs of Shell Duck and a flock of Pochard Duck, looking beautiful with their brown russet head.
Teal and Widgeon, Mallard, Gadwall also filled the lake and with the abundant fruit on the trees, acorn, sweet chestnut, the Jay helps himself along with several other birds in the Park.
Game birds took advantage also of the nuts and fallen apples on the ground.
Swans added up to twenty three, our two black swans Sydney and Adelaide. Cormorants, 16 and herons 7, Egret 1.
The weather is still very mild, the holly berries are still on the tree and woodpigeon are on the ivy.
‘The Holly and the Ivy, when they are full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The Holly bears the crown’
This food source gives many a bird a lifeline for food, but for shelter in the foliage Sparrows, Wrens and smaller birds may not eat the fruit , but feed on insects in this haven when the weather is cold and the ground is covered in snow.
Our bird boxes have been cleaned out ready for next year and these can also be a place for birds to roost and sleep in little gangs. House Martens and Swallow nests also provide shelter. We have counted twelve wrens coming out of the one Swalllow’s nest! Owls are still present in our larger boxes.
Bird Focus- The Robin
The Robin – Erithacus Robecula – derived from the latin word ‘ruber’ meaning red.
Probably our best loved bird, friendly and intelligent, has been known to adopt a house or a family. Upper plumage is brown, breast on both cock and hen is red. Young birds have a speckling all over the breast.
The song is varied with a high, clear tone with a wide range of notes broken with a twittering. The Robin is a medium size up to five inches long. They are widespread from woodlands to gardens and often found on bird tables and become very tame, they seem to know when a garden is being cultivated and will be around your feet, picking up insects and worms when they are turned over with the fork. We have one here at Deene who comes when you call him ‘Bob Bob’ and he is there to get his treat. They nest in trees, shrubs, and empty cans in garden sheds, so next time you feed or top up the bird table call him and you may be surprised with a visitor.
Happy Christmas to you all from the team at Deene Park.