With the weather being so up and down in the past two months I was convinced that our first nest record at Nagshead would be an early Robin or Mistle Thrush but, to my complete surprise, I was lucky enough to witness a mating pair of Crossbills last week and watch the female busily collecting nesting material closely followed by the male. This is fantastic news as Crossbill breeding is notoriously difficult to prove in Gloucestershire, fingers crossed they will be successful in fledging young. Crossbills can nest at pretty much any time of year as long as there is a bumper crop of pine cones in the area to feed their young.
Other recent wildlife highlights on the reserve have included Wild Boar, Fallow Deer, Goshawks, Peregrine, Hawfinches and Bramblings. By far the most dramatic sighting occurred last week; a bat species was flying around the outside of the visitor centre at around midday. It look very much like a Lesser-horseshoe and had presumably come out of torpor due to the mild weather and was catching small insects which were quite numerous. It carried on hunting around the car park area for most of the afternoon until, as I was watching it with two visitors, a female Sparrowhawk sped past us and snatched the bat out of the air! The Sparrowhawk dropped the bat briefly before wheeling around and taking it again and disappearing into the woodland. I have heard of Sparrowhawks trying to hunt bats as they leave roost sites on summer evenings, but to witness this at such close range in broad daylight was quite incredible!
We look forward to seeing you there, thanks for the comment! LT
Looking forward to Visiting the site soon, have visited Highnam , Slimbridge, and cannock ponds, l nice write up.