Bird Blog | February 2020
Well another month has passed, and for the first week of January we had heavy rainfall, and so the sluice gates were left open. This gradually drained the lake down to reveal the mud at the top end of the lake, which brought in all the ducks and waders, with Wigeon, Porchard, Mallard and Shelduck taking advantage of the food source. A pair of Egrets and a pair of Heron were also seen.
Several frosts and high winds also brought in some different geese, with five Barnacle geese amongst the Canadas. These look different with their grey plumage, and is a slightly smaller bird. Our four Egyptian Geese are also back. Snipe and Greenshanks are also present on the mudflat.
Our owl boxes are also filling up with owls and of course Jackdaws taking advantage of the new housing. These have been so popular there are now another eight boxes going up around the Estate, our smaller boxes have been cleaned ready for a new nesting season, and in one of the open boxes we already have a pair of blackbirds nesting.
Around the woods there are flocks of Fieldfares and Longtail Tit, and with the wind at the end of the month we are hoping that a special bird comes in, like the Grey Shriek last year.
Bird Focus – The Black Headed Gull
The gulls also get attracted to the lake, the Black-headed Gull is now changing from it’s winter plumage to it’s summer plumage, and it is getting it’s black cap. A very noisy gull, and they always gather in great numbers. These are joined by the Common Gull, similar to the Blackhead Gull, and looking like a Herring Gull. These tend to visit the lake during the day after feeding around local landfill sites, where they can be seen in numbers along, with Blackhead Gulls.
The Black-headed gull lays between 2 – 3 eggs and both birds incubate them and help to feed them, and they fledge in 25 – 28 dates. They like to nest on mud flats, or islands on a local reservoir.
I hope the weather improves for all us birdwatchers to get out, enjoy the countryside, abundant wildlife and see the wonders of nature.