Bird Blog | February
Hello Fellow Birders,
Well, we have seen January come and go. February is here and the days are getting longer but again with very little rain during the month and warm weather which is unusual for the time of year.
We had a little frost on the shallow parts of the lake on the 24th and 25th of January and on the 29th we had a little snow.
Most of the birds on the lake are still in large numbers, with Greylags and Canadas and Mallard ducks, also Teal and Widgeon. We have had two pairs of little Egrets for most of the month, and the colder weather brings us Shelduck and Pochard.
One of the jobs during January was to clear the bird boxes out, and with 24 of them around the Estate and lots of ladder climbing it took a while!
The owl boxes made for the most exciting surprises. These boxes were made by the children of Isebrook School who visit us on a weekly basis under the guidance of Mrs. C. Bannister. In the boxes we found two pairs of Barn Owls, one pair of Tawny Owls and a pair of Little Owls. Many more of them had been taken over by the Jackdaws. We will keep you informed about the boxes as we go through the year.
This month we are looking at a very small bird which we see in most of our gardens, you hear the little tweet and a black and white bird bobs up and down as it looks for food. Have you guessed it yet? we are talking about the Wagtail.
Pied Wagtails are resident in the UK. The white Wagtail is a Continental bird, only coming to the UK as a scarce migrant. It has a grey back, which sometimes looks olive green. The female more or less resembles the white wagtail. We have two more types of Wagtail, one being the Grey Wagtail and the other is the Yellow Wagtail. Both look similar, but the Yellow is less common. The Grey Wagtail is the most graceful of the Wagtails, these can often be seen by the water’s edge eating mayflies, beetles and gnats. The nest is made of grass and other vegetation, which is lined with hair and built by the female.
The Pied Wagtail’s nest is bulky and untidy, made of grass and coarse scraps with thick hair and feather lining. They nest around buildings, also nesting in strange places like farm buildings and machinery. They lay between 4 – 6 eggs and these hatch in between 12 to 13 days.
So keep busy, make more time to watch our feathered friends and if the current cold spell keeps up do keep your bird tables and feeders full and, most importantly, have fun watching them.