Birds on the Riverside and the Diamond Jubilee

Birds on the Riverside and the Diamond Jubilee
April 4, 2012 Adrian Walters

What a very fine time of year it is for those working in the countryside and, in particular, in conservation. Following the long months of winter and with the encouragement of soft April days, life is now rapidly reasserting itself and gathering pace.

The return of the summer migrants is one of the unfailing miracles at this time of year. The chiffchaff, our first warbler, never fails to return bang on time. Suddenly there they are singing from a bare willow towards the end of the third week of March. Nothing has delayed or distracted the birds on their long and incredible northward journey back to our riverside.

The chiffchaff, of course, heralds the return of any number of birds that go to
make up our summer avifauna and doubtless they will all be turning up on time
with a few spotted flycatchers bringing up the rear in May. Hopefully even a
cuckoo or two might make it to our riverside too. By way of contrast, on the
last day of March, a flock of winter visiting fieldfares were making their way
due north in a determined manner.

Of course it is not all about our returning migrants. It is about watching our own birds establishing territories and pairing up in readiness for the new breeding season. Will our barn owls return following last years’ breeding success? Only time will tell.

Around a decade ago it was predicted in this column that common buzzards would become a very frequent sight over our riverside skies. 2012 could very well be the year that our first pair stays around to breed and that will be very exciting indeed. The birds soar gracefully on thermals with outstretched wings, their distinctive primary feathers upturned at the ends. They draw attention to themselves by their quite unmistakable ‘mewing’ calls. How wonderful that these magnificent birds are now becoming a well established breeding species. Give it another fifteen years or so and the introduced Spanish red kite will probably be equally common over our riverside.

From 1st April the Sudbury Common Lands Charity will take on the management of the Valley Trail between Sudbury and Rodbridge. One Riverside Projects Team session will be squeezed in before the season is too far advanced and further work will take place during the winter.

The Trustees are marking the diamond jubilee year in their own way through the provision of a small information board at the plantation on Brundon Lane. As the origin of this copse has its roots in coronation year it seems entirely appropriate to formally recognise that origin and to rename it the ‘Queen Elizabeth 11 Plantation’. The planting of commemorative ‘Royal Oaks’ has already taken place.

 

 

What a very fine time of year it is for those working in the
countryside and, in particular, in conservation. Following the long months of
winter and with the encouragement of soft April days, life is now rapidly reasserting
itself and gathering pace.

 

The return of the summer migrants is one of the unfailing
miracles at this time of year. The chiffchaff, our first warbler, never fails
to return bang on time. Suddenly there they are singing from a bare willow
towards the end of the third week of March. Nothing has delayed or distracted
the birds on their long and incredible northward journey back to our riverside.
The chiffchaff, of course, heralds the return of any number of birds that go to
make up our summer avifauna and doubtless they will all be turning up on time
with a few spotted flycatchers bringing up the rear in May. Hopefully even a
cuckoo or two might make it to our riverside too. By way of contrast, on the
last day of March, a flock of winter visiting fieldfares were making their way
due north in a determined manner.

 

Of course it is not all about our returning migrants. It is
about watching our own birds establishing territories and pairing up in
readiness for the new breeding season. Will our barn owls return following last
years’ breeding success? Only time will tell.

 

Around a decade ago it was predicted in this column that
common buzzards would become a very frequent sight over our riverside skies.
2012 could very well be the year that our first pair stays around to breed and
that will be very exciting indeed. The birds soar gracefully on thermals with
outstretched wings, their distinctive primary feathers upturned at the ends.
They draw attention to themselves by their quite unmistakable ‘mewing’ calls. How
wonderful that these magnificent birds are now becoming a well established
breeding species. Give it another fifteen years or so and the introduced
Spanish red kite will probably be equally common over our riverside.

 

From 1st April the Sudbury Common Lands Charity
will take on the management of the Valley Trail between Sudbury and Rodbridge. One Riverside Projects
Team session will be squeezed in before the season is too far advanced and further
work will take place during the winter.

 

The Trustees are marking the diamond jubilee year in their
own way through the provision of a small information board at the plantation on
Brundon Lane.
As the origin of this copse has its roots in coronation year it seems entirely
appropriate to formally recognise that origin and to rename it the ‘Queen
Elizabeth 11 Plantation’. The planting of commemorative ‘Royal Oaks’ has
already taken place.

 

 

 

 

What a very fine time of year it is for those working in the
countryside and, in particular, in conservation. Following the long months of
winter and with the encouragement of soft April days, life is now rapidly reasserting
itself and gathering pace.

 

The return of the summer migrants is one of the unfailing
miracles at this time of year. The chiffchaff, our first warbler, never fails
to return bang on time. Suddenly there they are singing from a bare willow
towards the end of the third week of March. Nothing has delayed or distracted
the birds on their long and incredible northward journey back to our riverside.
The chiffchaff, of course, heralds the return of any number of birds that go to
make up our summer avifauna and doubtless they will all be turning up on time
with a few spotted flycatchers bringing up the rear in May. Hopefully even a
cuckoo or two might make it to our riverside too. By way of contrast, on the
last day of March, a flock of winter visiting fieldfares were making their way
due north in a determined manner.

 

Of course it is not all about our returning migrants. It is
about watching our own birds establishing territories and pairing up in
readiness for the new breeding season. Will our barn owls return following last
years’ breeding success? Only time will tell.

 

Around a decade ago it was predicted in this column that
common buzzards would become a very frequent sight over our riverside skies.
2012 could very well be the year that our first pair stays around to breed and
that will be very exciting indeed. The birds soar gracefully on thermals with
outstretched wings, their distinctive primary feathers upturned at the ends.
They draw attention to themselves by their quite unmistakable ‘mewing’ calls. How
wonderful that these magnificent birds are now becoming a well established
breeding species. Give it another fifteen years or so and the introduced
Spanish red kite will probably be equally common over our riverside.

 

From 1st April the Sudbury Common Lands Charity
will take on the management of the Valley Trail between Sudbury and Rodbridge. One Riverside Projects
Team session will be squeezed in before the season is too far advanced and further
work will take place during the winter.

 

The Trustees are marking the diamond jubilee year in their
own way through the provision of a small information board at the plantation on
Brundon Lane.
As the origin of this copse has its roots in coronation year it seems entirely
appropriate to formally recognise that origin and to rename it the ‘Queen
Elizabeth 11 Plantation’. The planting of commemorative ‘Royal Oaks’ has
already taken place.