As detailed in recent posts the local nuthatches seem both very vocal currently as well as showing themselves much more widely than through the year to date. I had a recent opportunity to check out one of their strongholds and a visually stunning part of the Brecks at Lynford Arboretum. Lynford is possibly best birded in the winter and early spring when there are good opportunities to see Hawfinch and Crossbills as well as firecrest. Currently the bird feeders are empty and a lot of the locals are ranging far and wide across the local forests.
I started with the lakes and was treated to a flypast kingfisher or two as well as watching young great crested grebes mimicking each others moves as they practice for Springs mating rituals.
The lakes held mallards, gadwall, canada goose and a family of mute swans they were joined by some elusive moorhen and a couple of cormorants.
Moving into the woods and the Arboretum proper with its impressive selection of trees I was surrounded by contact calls of a host of the local birds including nuthatches blue tits and coal tits and goldcrest. They moved through the trees like a horde of leaf monkeys often feeding as happily upside down as the right way up. Getting photos of the high rise antics proved tricky in the poor light but eventually some sunlight appeared with the odd low level opportunity.
Nuthatch Dont see them all year and then loads altogether
Many of the usual birds that the Arboretum holds were notable by their absence including most of the finches and tree creepers. The most unusual find of the day after scanning treetops was a spotted flycatcher feeding up before its migration. Probably my favourite of the day was the ever cute goldcrests followed by the humble blue tit which presented the most vivid colours.
Blue tit in typical feeding pose
Blue tit in typical flying away pose
The arboretum was very quiet with few visitors but I had some company in the park with an old pagan friend carved from one of the old dead trees the green man. Always a pleasure to see these images of man in harmony with the woods. I look forward to seeing him again in the crisp winter when the birding has hotted up.