On the 29th of January I spent the whole afternoon, in a bird hide deep in Sherwood Forest. The experience was extremely relaxing. So much so I forgot all about the busy world as I tried to spot as many avian species as possible. Patience paid off and the experience delivered a great variety of bird life and even the odd grey squirrel. What made my day was seeing a group of Long-tailed tits on the feeder these birds are well known for their prominent features such as the pink stripe across the body and the long tail. This is a common way in which to see this species as they often seen in an excitable flock. Their breeding population in the United Kingdom covers over 34,000 territories and they live in a wide variety of areas from woodland and parkland and gardens.
There was a lone Robin that was making its regular visits to the feeder its infamous red breast proudly on display. Though is an assumption that these birds are very cute, after all they feature on countless numbers of Christmas cards. However, the Robin is in fact very territorial and will try to move away any intruders, this was quite entertaining as I observed the Robin putting the grey squirrels in their place. Then there were the beautiful flashes of the green and yellow of the Great tits with their black heads and white cheeks. These birds are extremely adaptable and can quite easily move into man-made habitats and are often in flocks with Blue tits in the winter months.
Every so often the feeders would be sent into silence and all the creatures surrounding them would disperse as a sparrow hawk would often fly overhead and try to get an easy meal. The highlight of my time in the hide was seeing the , Great Spotted Woodpecker. As I have only ever seen it from quite distance at home, being able to see one closer was amazing, it was like an enigmatic magician, one minute you see it on the feeder and the next minute it would be gone.
It wasn’t just the bird hide that provided wonderful sights the lake did as well. I saw male and female Tufted ducks and Coots and Moorhens. I have never been to a place where there was such a high concentration of grey squirrels they were everywhere. As I said in my last blog I have always been more interested in insects than birds, but I have recently had greater opportunities to see these creatures and this means I have begun to appreciate them too.