Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday Sunshine

As the title suggests, the weather today has been great, with lots of sunshine, and bright blue skies for most of the day. I started the day at Linacre with Luke, where we had two and a half hours walking around all three reservoirs.

The highlights of today's visit were the first singing Chiffchaffs of the year (2, with another non-singing individual seen by the boardwalk on the top reservoir), and the juvenile Shag that was still present on the middle reservoir. The Chiffchaffs were 4 days later than in 2015.


As well as these records, we also had  lots of the commoner woodland birds, Wren, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, singing in the sunshine, drumming Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Carrion Crow carrying nesting material, 2 Magpies, Jackdaws checking out potential nest sites, a Nuthatch plastering a hole, a singing Skylark, 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Mistle Thrushes and a flock of Siskin (phew!)

Along with the Shag, there were also 5 Canada Geese (2 pairs on the top reservoir and a lone individual on the middle reservoir- breeding this year perhaps?), 12 Coots, 9 Moorhens, 18 Tufted Ducks, 7 Mandarins (all males), 22 Mallards, 1 Grey Heron, Grey Wagtails (2, including 1 singing bird) and 4 Great-crested Grebes.

Great-crested Grebe

2 Brown Hares were also seen in the fields by the entrance and a single Wood Anemone was out in bloom.


  1. Hi Peter. The Shag is still on the lower reservoir. Unfortunately I found a second bird dead, hanging from fishing line from an overhanging branch at the SW corner of the lower res. I was wondering if arrangements could be made to cut the corpse down? My fear is that, as the body decays away, the fishing line will remain and potentially claim another victim (particularly as the live bird uses this branch as a perch). It will probably require some form of pole as the bird is out of reach from the bank. On a brighter note a Swallow and 2 Sand Martin at midday today. Jim Clarke.

  2. Hi Jim, Thanks for the information re the remaining Shag, as well as the Swallow and the Sand Martins. An excellent record!

    Very sad news about the other Shag. I agree it would be a very good idea to try and remove the dead bird and the remaining fishing line. I'll could pop down tomorrow.

  3. Thanks Peter, very much appreciated. A full list of notables from this morning posted on the SBSG website.

    1. Hi again. Popped across to Linacre to see what I could do. What an awful sight! Unfortunately, I couldn't reach the bird. My only thought is that if someone has an extendable tree pruner we could reach across and cut the bird and the wire down.

  4. Thanks for trying Peter. Tree pruners sounds like a good plan, a landing net might also be helpful. If you have no luck with that do keep me posted; i'll happily pop back as soon as i can and crawl along the branch, I won't mind the dunking should it happen (it won't be the first time i've been in the water to disentangle a bird from fishing line). Jim.