Monday, 2 November 2015

Day 353 - An Awesome Autumnwatch Anniversary & Notoriously Natty Nuthatches

12 Days to go!

Hey everyone, well an exciting post today as it marks the anniversary of when I started my blog. As a major co-incidence my very first post was about Awesome Autumnwatch Extra which I managed to see from the studio last year - and today is when Autumnwatch starts up again! I thought that was quite a big coincidence!

Well as it's Autumnwatch I've got a couple of special things today. The first is a little video I did for a little Autumnwatch campaign that they are doing #Mypatch. I had great fun doing it even though it was a bit wet!

So what species could I do for a special post like this, only my favourite woodland bird. Now there's a story here too. I have been planning to do this bird for a while. I've seen them lots at Fairburn Ings but that was before I had my camera, so no shots from there! Then I heard there were lots at Littlebeck Woods and had a few trips there to find and photograph them, but no luck there either. Well, looking after nature pays off. Our garden is kept for wildlife, it's only small but has plants that wildlife likes, we have nest boxes and feed the birds every day. So after all my travelling and watching, what turns up in my garden? A lovely Nuthatch!
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

I'm very pleased. For the last two weeks at least it has visited our feeders everyday and is getting quite used to me looking through the window with my camera. So I've got some nice shots and a little video.

Well as usual I did my research and what did I find out?

  • They are resident across England and Wales. Don't think they have made it very far into Scotland or Ireland yet.
  • This is a lot bigger area than they used to inhabit in the 1970's - before this apparently they didn't often breed further north than Harrogate - that's an hour away from us and I'd have had to set up camp in my Auntie's house to try to see one!
Being watched
  • There are around 220,000 breeding territories across the bits of the UK they inhabit.
  • Habitats they like are broadleaved woodlands and villages but they will visit parklands and towns too.
  • They have a typical lifespan of about two years but the oldest recorded was 11 years and 9 months!
  • Generally they are 14cm long with a 24cm wingspan and weigh around 24 grams.
  • Their diet changes with the seasons. In the summer they eat insects mainly but as it gets colder and they get less in number they start to eat seeds or it will search bark for insects.
  • A unique thing about Nuthatches is that they can climb up a tree but can also climb head first down a tree! Apparently the only UK bird that can do this and its down to their strong claws and not having stiff tail feathers.
Feeding up!
  • Nuthatches, once they establish their home, actually stay with that one for their life. This gives them a understanding of the area. 
  • Having a year round territory like this is unusual for a small bird, it is more common in bigger birds.
  • I think this basically means that the one at my garden will come here until it dies. I hope its chicks might though as well.
  • Another thing adding to this, is that they will cache seeds and nuts for the Winter, kind of like Squirrels... That's why knowing its patch is handy. So, it can find its food later.
  • Their beak looks quite sturdy and strong but it isn't strong enough to drill through wood like Woodpeckers.
Well my new resident likes his home so much he thought he'd get in on the Autumnwatch action...


Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed

1 comment:

  1. Loved your patch video Zach and nuthatches are just so cute! - Tasha