Backwell Environment Trust

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Spring Bird Walk - April 2016

On Saturday 30th April, Trevor Riddle, with John Croxton, (both from YACWAG) led a walk to help us to identify birds on our reserves by their song.  As the canopy thickens with new leaves, it is quite difficult to see birds amongst the trees and, in the open, they fly so very fast!  However, their presence can be indicated by their song, if one can recognise it but, as most have a song, an alarm call and contact calls, it is quite challenging as many seem so similar.

Bir walk 480

While some such as the chiffchaff are quite unmistakable, others such as the great tit have a confusingly wide range of songs or calls.   At this time of year it is further complicated by the calls of baby birds!  In the lower part of Jubilee Stone Wood we know that there are often nuthatch so we watched and waited until we finally heard the one calling. Frustratingly we didn't actually see it as they are such smart looking birds, but Trevor confirmed that it was definitely a nuthatch.

 I was hoping that we would hear or see marsh tits as we know they have nested on the reserves but we were not that lucky, nor did we spot any treecreepers. We did hear the slightly wistful song of the robin, the explosive energy of the wren and lots of chaffinches, chiffchaffs, tits and glorious blackcaps.

 Trevor and John were very patient with us but we all concluded that we definitely need more practice!  The most satisfying way is to visually identify a bird, then watch the beak move as it sings and try to remember the sound!    It was a lovely sunny morning to be out and we enjoyed the increasing numbers of spring flowers as well as the birds. Trevor and John were very complimentary about the management of the reserves and hope that as insects proliferate in the various habitats, so will the birds.


We are most grateful to Trevor and John for sharing their expertise and time.

More photos can be seen in our album:

Carrie Riches


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