Bird Watch – Nuts About Nuthatches by Darren Shepherd

Nuthatch Feeding – sitta europaea

Well,  the summer is officially over, and,  as we move into autumn,  the post breeding tits, and other small insectivorous  birds,  start to roam  the countryside in flocks.  These flocks find Parkinsons Park much to their liking, with the wealth of cover and food on offer.  Last Friday, when entering the park from the Nethercliffe Road entrance, I could hear the ‘twittering’of such a flock feeding in the tall trees and scrub that borders Kelcliffe House.

Amongst the noise, I was  pleasantly surprised to hear the call of a “NUTHATCH” (sitta europaea). “Superb”, I thought, “a completely new bird for the parks list” !  The bird is a stunning little thing,  not much bigger than a sparrow, but a true Olympian for its climbing prowess, and adorned in red/orange,white,and blue plumage looking rather exotic in Jubilee colours. Other birds in the flock, included blue, great, and coal tits, along with my favorite the long tailed tit.

Other birds seen and heard over the past month have included curlews on their autumn passage at night, and the usual raptors, red kite, common buzzard, sparrowhawk and kestrel.  The summer migrants have all but gone now,with the odd  chiffchaff and willow warbler still passing through the Park. The swallows and martins have upped sticks and set off for Africa(if only I could fly) and wont be seen again untill april or may next year.

We can look forward to the winter visitors from northern Europe arriving this month along with Santa a bit later on in the year.  Happy days.

About Jennifer Inskip Kirkby

Director and Vice Chair of Friends of Parkinson's Park CIC, Chair of Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum and Facilitator of Inskip One-Name Study. Has a degree in Local History (University of Cambridge), and Economics (University of Leeds). Now retired after a career as a Business Analyst and Advisor.
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