Fantastic forest fly in (April 2014)

Fantastic forest fly in (April 2014)

There’s a clutch of new arrivals at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest this spring with birds flocking for attention across the Park.

Thirteen ducklings were sighted on Moors Lake as the first raft took to the water – the highest single hatching figure recorded at Moors Valley. Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita) are being sighted regularly snapping up insects as they fly past and, with the swallows due to arrive any day the nest cameras are already relaying images of nuthatches (Sita europaea) bringing in bark peeled from the abundant pine trees to line their nest.

“It’s wonderful to hear the dawn chorus as the Park wakes up each spring morning,” said Pam, a long-time bird enthusiast and Moors Valley Information Officer. “We are already keeping a watchful eye on many young families and I’m particularly delighted to announce the arrival of a nest of House sparrows near the railway platform at Kingsmere Station.”

Once common in most gardens the House sparrow (Passer domesticus) is now Red Listed by the RSPB following a drop in recorded numbers of 71%. It is thought that part of this severe decline has been caused by a lack of insects resulting in poorly fed chicks. “At Moors Valley there are plenty of suitable nest sites for sparrows and natural food sources, and we also provide a feeding station at the back of the Visitor Centre,” added Pam. “It’s a great place to sit quietly and see how many species you can spot.”

With over 800 acres to explore and relax in the natural attractions of Moors Valley Country Park and Forest are not restricted to the spring. Wildlife enthusiasts will find the Park is one of the best places in the country to spot summer dragonflies, autumn sees the arrival of the swanringer to ring the new cygnets, while overwintering arrivals at the lake include two Amber Listed dabbling ducks, Gadwall and Teal.

Moors Valley opens daily and whilst admission is free there is a charge for parking. Regular visitors can benefit from a choice of season tickets providing parking at significantly reduced rates.

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Editors’ Notes:

House Sparrow image from Amanda at Phoenix-2,
Required photo credit: House sparrow, Ray Kennedy (