News archive

February 2008

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Adult male siskin on feeder

If you go into the woods today (Part 1) ....!

As the sun tried to cut thorugh the grey cloud cover, the group members met at Dibbinsdale Local Nature Reserve (run by Wirral Council) in Bromborough. We were met by the 'larger than life' Ranger, Peter, who gave us all a run down of what he had achieved and what he hoped to achieve with the reserve. Outside his office, Long-tailed tit, great and blue tit as well as greenfinch and siskin fought over places on his feeders! As we went deeper into the wood, we were never away from the various contact calls of all the tits. In addition the wood resounded to the song of robins, blackbirds, dunnock and nuthatch. We primarily had come for woodpeckers and, unfortunately, had to be content with only great spotted woodpecker - although we had an excellent view of a male. Overhead, a number of buzzards tried to soar in the weak thermals and a large female sparrowhawk flashed across the tree tops, looking for an inattentive small bird for lunch! A couple of treecreepers made an appearance and one member was lucky enough to see a blackcap - one of the many that now appear to be over wintering locally as a result of our mild winter climate. In the pools created by Peter, teal and mallard moved about but no sign of the kingfisher which has been known to frequent the river. In the farmland next to the reserve, fieldfare, redwing and mistle thrush fed on the edge of the ploughed field. We heard stories from Peter about the old manor house and the bombs that landed in the valley during the second world war - the craters of which can still be seen today! Everyone went away with knowledge of a wood few were aware existed and many vowed to return to spend more time looking for birds.