Thursday, 15 April 2010

Thursday 15th.April 2010

Spent the morning visiting my Warden , who is still recuperating from his back operation , and doing very well . I helped him with a few jobs around the garden that he couldn't manage , but , all the time keeping an eye on the nest box that has been the subject of interest to a pair of local Nuthatches . Of interest , the feeders that were filled on my last visit , were still at least 3/4 full , the birds having other things on their minds . And so it proved , when a Nuthatch , which I presume was the female , arrived at the nest box with nesting material in it's bill . The entrance hole that I mentioned before was opened up , looks as if more work is needed , but it did give a good view of that long rear toe . This most unladylike entrance did not occur on every visit , as for several consecutive visits , by both birds , ended in the material just being tossed through the hole , and the presumed female just going in to 'do housework' every now and again . Having done her 'housework' , she then had to get out again , which seemed to be somewhat of a problem . Head and neck we easy , but when it came to shoulders and wings , that was where a bit more work on the hole might come in handy , as it was a bit of a struggle for her . Eventually , she did manage to get out , and off to gather some more material . And what was the male doing whilst all this was going on ? In between his visits to the hole to deposit his material , he sat high in an adjacent Oak , calling mostly with his Springtime 'kee-kee-kee' call , but occasionally his usual 'twit-twit-twit' call as well . Hopefully , there will be further episodes posted on this pair , and , wouldn't it be great to get the whole family , lined up on the peanut or Sunflower heart feeders close by .
On leaving , I made my way up onto the Downs , looking for reptiles . On arrival , the conditions looked quite good , but the truth turned out somewhat different . A total of 12 Slow Worms were recorded , along with 6 Common Lizards . And how many Adders ? This was my only sighting , just literally the tail end of a male , which I did not disturb under the refugia . Also recorded were two Foxes , out in the open chalk grassland , seen from a distance , one looking very fit , and the other very mangy . I also heard some very strange 'barking' from some woodland at the top of the slope , almost a cross between a Heron and a deep throated Jay , but there were no birds around and it seemed to be coming from the woodland floor . By the time I got to the top , the 'barking' had finished , but I did notice lots of evidence of fresh diggings in the woodland . Could it have been Badgers , maybe , but I'll never know for sure .
I was hoping that I might find Dingy or even Grizzled Skipper on the site , but it wasn't to be , but I did record 8 Peacocks , all in sheltered corners of the site , and also a single Comma that was either sunning itself next to the Cowslips , or scrapping with a Peacock over the real estate .


Phil said...

If you were a gentleman Greenie you would have given Mrs Nuthatch's derriere a gentle nudge with the flat of your hand when she was stuck in that unladylike pose. She would never have known it was you!
Great shots, look forward to meeting the family.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
I think I'll leave such things to people who hide behind bushes , they are probably better prepared !

Warren Baker said...

Keep us updated on the Nuthatch progress Greenie, it will be interesting to see how they get on.

Comma, Peacock, Red admiral, Small white, all seen on my patch now. I'm anticipating an orange tip but whats due next ? I suppose I should get the books out and find out for myself :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
As you say , Orange Tip should be about soon .
I have seen reports of Dingy and Grizzled Skipper , Green Hairstreak , Speckled Wood and Holly Blue sightings , but just odd ones .
Of note , very few overwintering Red Admirals have been reported , will have to rely on migrants fron the Continent .

Steve said...

Great pics of the Nuthatch. Look forward to following that.

Kerry said...

That looks like a squeeze for the Nuthatch. Great to see them at such close quarters and benefitting from mankind.