December, 2007

Wildlife

Wildlife
We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Notes on nature

We love nature... from every little bug on a blade of grass to birds, butterflies, otters and oaks!
  • Squirrels on your screen

    It's almost like being there. You can nearly smell the Caledonian pines, hear the squirrels scampering among the branches and feel the cold air on your face...

    We've been entranced by our new live, streaming video webcam. It's on our reserve at Abernethy Forest in the Scottish Highlands and the stars of the show are red squirrels, coal tits, great spotted woodpeckers and even the occasional crested tit.

    Before, you needed to visit the forests of northern Scotland to watch crested tits in this country, but now all you have to do is turn on your computer and head for our website! You could also see the squirrels chasing each other up and down, swarms of coal tits in a feeding frenzy and perhaps even a pine marten - their droppings have been found at the foot of the tree!

    We hope you'll enjoy watching the webcam - don't forget to tell us what you've seen...

    Be warned: it is quite addictive.

    • What did you see on the webcam? Tell us about it below (you will need to register first - this is free - then log in).
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  • Who says Mondays are dull?

    Male great spotted woodpecker. Photo by Nigel Blake‘Had a good weekend?' is the usual question when you get into work on a Monday morning. However, no sooner was this uttered today when it was interrupted as I peered out the window and caught a glimpse of a black, white and red bird swooping onto our feeder.

    We’re pretty lucky here that we get some interesting birds out there, like Mark’s grey wagtail, but today’s visitor was equally beautiful and stayed around for much longer!

    You possibly guessed that we were visited by a male great spotted woodpecker, one of my favourite birds with it’s flash of red and bold black and white markings. I caught him swooping down, disturbing the chaffinch’s and blue tit’s breakfast (don’t worry for they have returned!).

    ‘Our’ woodpecker is a fairly infrequent visitor to the feeder, but he didn’t feed for long, before moving off with his distinctive bouncing flight to a nearby tree.

    Here he stayed for a few minutes, thankfully with winter now upon us, and the leaves having dropped off the trees, we got a good view of him as he moved up the tree, doing his best to hide from us. He disappeared shortly after into the woodland, possibly off to visit one of the other feeders at a house nearby. I don’t expect we’ll see him again before Christmas, so I hope he’ll return in the new year.

    Oh, and by the way, I did have a good weekend!

  • Small bird, big pleasure

    After being a martyr at the beginning of this week and dragging my poor sorry little self into work, I finally gave in to my cold and decided to have a close relationship with my duvet instead. This was fine until I realised that the pile of drugs I had, had run out. Therefore, I wearily got out of bed and walked to the window to assess weather situation. Could I really survive without the bitter taste of yet another lemsip?

    I pulled back the curtains and let my eyes adjust to the bright sunlight, before directing my gaze towards the tree just below my window.  I’m always hearing birds singing away but I never actually see the culprits – until now!

    I stood there and looked in wonder at a bird I had only ever seen photos off. I kept willing the flighty pair to stay still for just a few moments so that I could confirm my hopes - that the bird I was looking at was a long-tailed tit. As their little feathered bodies bobbed around the branches of the tree, I found myself doing the same thing in an effort to catch sight of them. These definitely win the award for being one of the “cutest” bird species around. With their tiny round bodies and long tails, they almost look like a ball on a stick! They have a very active nature, constantly flitting through trees and bushes, hence why they didn’t stay still in my presence,

    In those few minutes, I forgot about the stinking cold I had, and just gazed down at the 2 little birds on a branch. There they sat chirping away regardless of the pleasure they had just afforded me.