Thursday, 10 April 2014

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve

An afternoon visit provided an interesting insight into breeding behaviour of a few resident species. To start with during yesterday's visit I was concerned for a nesting Mistle Thrush that had to contend with at least three Eurasian Jay that strayed near the nest. The female left the nest and harried the Jays which finally left the area. On my leaving the female hadn't returned to the nest so I was more than happy to see her sitting tight on the nest today. Within feet of that nest a pair of Long-tailed Tit look to have completed a nest and hopefully will be brooding soon. Within fifty feet of both nests is an Eurasian Sparrowhawk nest. Over the past few weeks I have noted the male and female bird at or near the nest which seems to have grown over this time. Today during my visit I discovered the male at the nest and watched while it collected twigs. It was odd seeing it do this with the use of it's talons instead of it's bill like many other species. I still have to find a plucking post which must be nearby. I wonder if this pair of accipiter will prey heavily on the resident breeding species? Only time will tell and I look forward to watching as these breeding events unfold.
Yesterday at the Shell Hide I discovered a nesting Chaffinch and watched with delight as the female built the nest that was only a few feet away. During today's visit I was amazed to see its nest nearly finished and watched as the female began to line the inside of the nest. At the Long Hedge at least two singing Willow Warbler were heard and numbers of Common Chiffchaff and Blackcap continue to build.

                                                 The female Mistle Thrush sits tight on the nest.

                                                  Male Sparrowhawk collecting twigs.

                                          The female Chaffinch tends the nest, taken yesterday.

I would like to add that all my pictures of nesting birds are taken from the designated pathways or hides and I am in no way encroaching or intruding on the nesting sites.


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