We regularly get a post breeding Kingfisher visiting the ponds at Lower Hide from mid-July through to autumn. Undoubtedly it just takes a short D tour from the Cannop Brook across the road around 100 metres away. This year I was looking forward to bumping into the Kingfisher on the reserve again as summer approached, but July came and went and August was marching on with no sign. Yesterday I was working at the Visitor Centre when I heard a familiar call, it was a Kingfisher! I crept up to the 'Nursery Meadows' pond next to our car park and had fantastic views of the bird perched on the pond dipping platform (more like a diving board in this case!), I decided to return to the Visitor Centre to avoid frightening the Kingfisher away. I know the bird stayed around the pond for at least half an hour after that as I could hear it calling occasionally. The thing that amazes me is just how far away this pond is from any other water. How did the Kingfisher know the pond was there? I find it difficult to believe that a Kingfisher would just fly blindly through woodland in the hope that there is a pond out there somewhere, fascinating really. Presumably the late appearance of this bird is linked to the poor weather which may have disrupted breeding. Hopefully the Kingfisher will be a regular visitor again now until autumn, if you are lucky enough to see one at Nagshead then please let us know.
Hawfinches have again been feeding on the abundance of Rowan berries at the furthest point of Short Trail, as last year. Early mornings are best when looking for this species as the reserve is still quiet. Four post breeding Tree Pipits have been feeding on the lower section of the meadows for a week or so. Not the impressive flock of 13+ that we had in the same spot last summer, but it does go to show that birds appear in the same areas at roughly the same time year after year. Many of our migrant breeding species have moved off now with only the odd Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaff and Blackcap around the Short Trail. A few birds have been moving through however, a Pied Flycatcher seen on the Short Trail on August 3rd was presumably a migrant from elsewhere.