Saturday, 22 March 2014

Chiffchaffs are back

Last Wednesday (19th), there was a report of a singing Chiffchaff at Linacre on the Sheffield Bird Study Group website, the first of the year. Unfortunately I couldn't get down there until today, but during a 2 hour walk around the site with Jayne, we managed to hear 4 birds and see one of these low down in a willow on the ringing site. This is always the first summer migrant back at Linacre, so it was really nice to hear it's song. What next? Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Swallow?

As well as the Chiffchaffs, most of the usual suspects were also in good voice this morning, including Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Blue and Coal Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker (drumming), Blackbird, Song and Mistle Thrush.

Out on the water we spotted 2 pairs of Great-crested Grebe; 1 each on the middle and top reservoirs, 6 Mandarin Ducks (3 pairs. 1 each for the owl boxes?), 28 Mallards, 12 Tufted Ducks, 2 Cormorants (including the ringed bird), 3 Grey Wagtails, 12 Coots, 4 Moorhens and 1 Little Grebe.

Out in the fields was a small flock of winter thrushes comprising 9 Fieldfares and 2 Redwings. Later on we also  spotted a large flock of about 50/60 Starlings flying over the top reservoir, a large female Sparrowhawk, a small group of about 20 Siskins and 4 Lesser Redpolls, so winter's not over yet.


  1. hey peter, sorry i haven't been around commenting on your blog since the last nesting season. Its great to see your still finding some great species around linacre.

    Have you noticed much in the way of nesting around your patch recently? Down here in stoke we've got most of the resident birds building and a few species are now incubating.

  2. Hi Dominic, Good to hear from you again.

    I've heard lots of the singing, but no sign of any nesting yet, except for a pair of Great-crested Grebes last week. I'll start to check the nestboxes in the next few weeks, so will hopefully have something to report then.