Over the last 24 hours, we have  observed  some  examples of bird behaviour that remind  us how  interesting they are as they go about their daily business. Yesterday I was stood at the bottom of the garden when a loud ‘drumming’ commenced in the old wild cherry tree above. This in itself was not unusual as we have  woodpeckers that are regular visitors to the garden, but to  my surprise I looked up to see that  it was a Nuthatch that was creating the noise. I assume that it was searching the loose bark for insects and grubs  as  a woodpecker would do and that this  ‘drumming’ was not a territorial  action?  It was an impressive level of volume when taking into account the size of its beak compared to a woodpecker!  If anyone knows otherwise please let us know.

In the afternoon we discovered that a Wren had built a nest on the remains of  one from last year at the very apex of a Wisteria growing up the side of the house. ( Its a north facing wall and we are at nearly 1000 feet close to Shap, so it has not yet fully burst into leaf and flower!)

It was such an exposed site that I took this photograph to illustrate the fact. I can only assume that the Wrens responsible know that soon the Wisteria will be in full bloom  quite soon and then will provide them with dense cover and safety, so its worth investing in construction prior to full growth being achieved!


Walking the dog this morning, just outside of the village, a red squirrel ran across the road in front of us  and had only just reached the sanctuary of the long grass on the verge when a fully grown Buzzard dropped from the over hanging Pines to ‘crash ‘ into the tarmac where the squirrel had been just a half second before. Buzzards have to eat  of course and most of the time, evidence suggests carrion and earth worms form the largest part of their diet, but they do represent yet another risk to the  ‘Red’ population. It’s tough being a Red Squirrel and the event reminds us that they continue to need all our help. It you don’t already, please help support the work of the wonderful Red Squirrel groups in Cumbria either by joining a Group or making a donation. If you need contact details, we are happy to assist you at the Birds’ Bistro.


17th May


This morning