Bird song walk

On Sunday 15th April Colin Potter, the renowned local ornithologist, led a walk for approximately one and a half hours, to help us identify birds, their behaviour and their songs.

The morning was grey but dry. Whilst standing in the car park Colin quickly identified new arrivals from the Europe and Africa, namely the chiffchaff whose name reflects its call and the clear fluty notes of the blackcap.

These birds breed here and return to France, the Mediterranean regions and West Africa in September. In case you see one in your garden, a small population of blackcap now winter here.

We heard the surprisingly loud and varied call of the Nuthatch and the “sweet sweet” of the coal tit. Many other birds were heard and identified.

A long-tailed tit came very near and seemed to be listening to Colin. From time to time he makes a quiet whistle to encourage a bird reply.

Colin said that the presence of marsh tits and blackcaps is a good indicator of a healthy woodland. The chiffchaffs were certainly making good use of the bramble clusters to conceal their nests.

We were a relatively small group so we were able to question Colin freely, and in conjunction with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the District Council we are doing our best to maintain and improve Oakley Wood.

Liz Sheehan

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