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The Blackbird is usually the first of our garden birds that start to nest from early March onwards. That’s why they herald that season for us and as soon as it arrives, we know within a few months we will be in the middle of the ‘silly season’ with hundreds of mouths to feed. It’s the female that builds the nest and the male that protects its territory. The male is the one with completely black feathering with a bright orange beak and yellow eye ring. The female is brown with a spotted chest, as are the juveniles, which often get confused with the thrush. Having been sent out to collect a blackbird, for which I took one of our small cardboard carriers, I was somewhat surprised to find on arrival that it was a black bird but was actually a crow. It was a bit of a tight fit in the box with its tail protruding!

Our tame red deer, Polly, who is now in her thirties, sits quite patiently as our rooks pull out her winter coat which she is discarding. A super material for their nests. It is this time of year that it’s really important to pick up pieces of string or netting that you may see, as birds will use it for nesting, and it can cause injuries. Tiny fledglings can get tangled in it and are then trapped and unable to get out of the nest. We have seen some terrible injuries caused by string and other litter. I keep a plastic bottle handy and always put bits of string in it that I find. When full, it can then be put out as rubbish. This stops animals picking it up as nesting material locally or at land fill. Such a simple thing that really does save lives. Don’t forget that baby birds leave the nest but are still unable to fly for the first couple of days as they exercise their wings and build up muscles. They are obviously very vulnerable at this stage. But please don’t intervene unless it is really necessary – you can always ring for advice 01278 783250.

This Easter on Saturday March 30th we are having a ‘Walk on the Wildside’ with two trails from the centre around the local area. Start times anytime between 10 am and 3 p.m. There is a choice of two trails – 3.4 miles or 1.5 miles. Refreshments will be available. Find out more from 01278 783250 or visit https://events.secretworld.org/events/  

Adults £3 and children £2 over 2 yrs. A fun day for all ages. Dogs welcome on leads.


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