Tag Archives: Birds


Thanks to Nic Cairns for some fine photos of Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)…



Goldfinches are lovely little birds, often seen in small flocks.  They are specialist feeders on seeds of plants such as thistles, dandelions and teasels – all plentiful on St.Anns Allotments, where Nic took these photos.


Swift Street


Last week I helped put some Swift nesting boxes on houses in Church Drive, Carrington….


We put a number of specially-designed nesting boxes (like this) under the eaves of several houses on the north-facing side of Church Drive….


The boxes will hopefully encourage the birds to nest.  Swifts (Apus apus) are remarkable birds; supreme fliers which spend most of their lives in the air.  They migrate here from central and southern Africa to breed, arriving in late April-early May.  They have declined in number in recent decades, and a loss of suitable nesting sites is an important factor in this decline.  Nest boxes fixed under house eaves can help reverse this.

The next boxes in Church Street were fundraised and fixed as part of a local community project called Swift Street, which aims to inspire local people about nature while helping the Swifts.  It’s a great example of a small-scale wildlife project in the city, and particularly valuable because it brings nature right into the daily lives of people where they live – people in Church Street are talking about Swifts and looking at the skies now!

One of the nest boxes was fitted with a webcam, which will allow people to watch these fascinating birds in close detail if the box becomes occupied…..

a box with camera

There is also a plan to play recordings of Swift calls from windows near the boxes, to encourage the birds to investigate the new nest boxes.  Let’s hope the boxes prove successful.

Thanks to Trish from Instar for the photos.


Another good bird pic from Nic Cairns…a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) photographed at St.Anns Allotments….


Thanks to Nic for his continued contributions.


Nic Cairns keeps the excellent photos coming….here’s one of a Jay (Garrulus glandarius), not the easiest bird to spot and photograph….


Jays are the most colourful of the British corvid species, and are thought to play an important role in the distribution of oaks – they feed on acorns, and may collect and hoard thousands in the autumn, some of which will be forgotten and germinate.  Wollaton Park, where this Jay was photographed, is ideal habitat for these attractive birds.


Viv Crump sent in a picture of courting Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) on a bird feeder at the Wollaton RBRGHA allotments….

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The pleasure at seeing these attractive birds is tempered by the concern that the clearance of the allotments for housing will disturb any attempt they make to nest…..


Bird feeders are a great way to attract birds to a garden, as this image of a male Siskin (Carduelis spinus) shows….

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The Siskin is the smallest finch in Northern Europe, and is often seen in garden bird feeders in winter.  Like all finches, it feeds on seeds.  Thanks to Viv Crump for the photo, taken at RBRGHA allotments in Wollaton.


Mandarin Duck

Another  fine photo from Wollaton Park, courtesy of Nic Cairns.  A male Mandarin Duck, Aix galericulata :

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Like some other ducks I’ve featured, the Mandarin isn’t native; it has been kept in ornamental parks, but has escaped and established itself in the wild.  It definitely seems at home the parkland of Wollaton.

Courting Herons

Here’s a fine picture of a pair of Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) in courtship mode :


Thanks to Nic Cairns, who took the photo at Wollaton Park.

A Robin sings…

Thanks to Phil Norbury, who sent in a short video clip of a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) singing on his plot on Moorfield allotments in Radford…

The video captures the Robin’s song well – thanks to Phil.

Reed Bunting on allotments….for how much longer?

Vivien Crump sent in a nice picture of a female Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), taken on the RBRGHA allotment site in Wollaton….

female reed

Unfortunately the controversial development of the site is imminent, and some of the plots are now being cleared.  How much longer will the site provide shelter for the Reed Bunting?