News archive

March 2010

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Nuthatch on branch

Invitation from the Duke for a bird watching visit to his lovely Eaton Hall estate.

On arriving at Chester, we parked up at the gates of Duke's Drive and walked towards Eccleston. We could hear several Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and eventually one came close enough so we could see it - a female, lacking the red at the back of the head. Several Long tailed Tits kept us entertained as they flew from tree to tree. The cold morning air was full of the sounds of Robin, Blackbird, Chaffinch plus Great and Blue Tit - all competing in the bird equivalent of the 'X Factor'.

Moving on to Eccleston Village, we parked up at the old ferry crossing on the banks of the River Dee. Several Fieldfare were seen here, one particular bird staying in a tree long enough for everyone to get excellent views via our telescopes. Opting to take the walk away from Chester, we entered the wooded banks of the Dee. Strange noises could be heard from the river. Was it an over wintering Goosander or perhaps the Ring necked Parakeet, that is known to frequent these parts? No it was the voice of the cox of a rowing boat pushing its way down the river ! Several Nuthatch were calling, marking out their territories, and excellent views of this colourful birds were had. Once more Great Spotted Woodpecker featured, with several birds being seen, with a male being most obliging drumming on a dead branch for several minutes. Some of the group had a possible sighting of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but unfortunately the bird disappeared before identification could be confirmed. The last bird to make a welcome appearance was a Treecreeper, feeding on a number of trees close to the path giving everyone brilliant views.

Could the walk have been better? Well yes, we could have seen a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (one of our target birds) and there could have been a tea / 'bacon butty' van at the car park but all in all we thoroughly enjoyed our walk as it was !!