Nature Notes For February

The first European (winter) visitors in the shape of Redwings appeared in the area around Christmas and fittingly it was the numerous juicy red berries in our holly tree that attracted them in. Not big numbers but two or three every time I looked so by now the quantity of fruit should have been distinctly reduced but not so as the thrushes seem to have moved on. It would therefore be a treat if in this current chilly snap (9th Jan) that some of their country-folk, i.e. Waxwings, would turn up.
A Facebook message and photo showed a couple of these great looking birds in Eastrop Park yesterday and these guys just love red berries of every kind. Supermarket car parks were often the place Waxwings could be found in really cold spells as such areas usually had small trees planted along the dividing lines of the parking spaces. Lack of TLC to the trees over years means these ‘bird magnets’ are sadly no longer there.

Things seemed mainly quiet over the holidays but thank you to those who did have something to report. Diane Matthews was walking up the path through Daneshill woods on New Year’s day and saw a photo of a Nuthatch and a Tree Creeper on the Daneshill nature reserve information board at the top of the hill. The board depicts a variety of possible sightings to be had in the area but when Diane showed the pic to her husband he noticed that there was an error in regard to these birds. This was that the names had been transposed and clearly this has been so since the boards were erected. I thought about letting the relevant department within the council know but I guess they have many larger fish to fry. However, now we know we are informed, the Tree Creeper isn’t the Nuthatch!

For the first time ever, I received a copy of a lady’s ‘nature blog’, recording her experiences on perambulations around the village and it was great reading. Rachel Mitchell who resides in Pyotts Hill, is clearly a walker, observer and thinker and whilst I cannot replicate all of what she says in this column, I have sent it in to the Basinga Team to ask it to be placed in Basinga Extra so you can share her stories. Thank-you Rachel.

I hope you all received presents that you wanted or were surprised by and I’m pleased to say I was, particularly in the form of a new camera box from my better half. My old faithful camera of 20 years gave up the ghost a year ago so this up-to-date, colour and IR version, was most welcome. I duly installed it in early January, connected it to a big HD TV and within three days, or more specifically, three nights, a Blue Tit had taken up residence in which to roost. I’m quietly confident therefore that he or she will find a partner and use the dwelling for its main purpose come early May.

Don’t forget to send all your nature-related photos to emails: or or ring 01256 321108 for news.

For all your bird food requirements, order it from me at ‘Bird Drop-ins’. Use the former email address or ring me on 07900 648675 to place an order or get a form.

Rick Bourne

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