Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The forgotten mega

How could I forget the most exciting wildlife event of yesterday? When I got home in the evening there was a House Sparrow on my feeder - the first ever in my garden. My garden has never been much good for birds and apart from nyger seed, everything I put out just ended up going rotten. Last year I was introduced to the delights of Fruity Nibbles! These are suet pellets and they have attracted everything that ever used to feed on peanuts plus Blackcaps in the winter and a regular flock of Starlings. Years ago I would have considered these to be pests but I now thoroughly enjoy their argumentative exploits each day. I now use a non-branded suet pellet because they are much cheaper but if you haven't given the birds in your garden and good nibble, give it a try.

Gilbert's brother has kindly supplied some more photo's of Sundays Nightjars.

Amazing creatures on every level. He also returned yesterday and the chicks have now grown sufficiently that they are only partly brooded by the female.

The camouflage is so superb that it's really hard to make the chicks out but if you look carefully in front of the adults you can make out the slits of the chicks closed eyes.

This evening I went to change the camera batteries on 'Espanol' and 'Nursie' Wood Warbler nests. Both were ok although Espanol has had a lucky escape as the camera had been kicked out of the ground. I also found a new nest; Swamp Bank Corner. This has five chicks that are about 4 days old. I think this is the first nest this year which has evaded me until after the chicks have hatched but I always struggle with the pair in this location. There were a couple of distractions in the Forest this evening. The first was a Hawfinch doing alarm calls near where I parked which I failed to make any progress on finding the nest of (I've never found a Hawfinch nest but there are plenty around so maybe next year). The other distraction was the young Goshawks which have just fledged and are now very vocal. There must be hundreds of birders who visit the area each spring to see Goshawks but at this time of year when they are actually much easier to see really well, you never see another bird watcher.

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