Birds of Marlpit Community Garden May 2016
A heron has been feeding in the lake at the bottom of the site, which is somewhat surprising as it is not connected to the river. It caught several fish, though it wasn’t possible to identify them, but they were larger than sticklebacks
Herons can often be seen flying over the area, and are increasing in Britain due to the series of mild winters we have had lately.
The old Norfolk name for a heron was ‘harnser’, and this is the source of the line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet “When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” – handsaw should have been written as harnser. The hawk in question was the goshawk, a favourite falconer’s bird which was often used to catch herons.*
A pair of goldfinches have been seen near the entrance to the community garden, and it is likely they are nesting nearby. They nest in small trees or tall bushes and the hedges around the edge of the garden provide good nesting opportunities, whilst there are plenty of wild plants to provide food in the form of seeds.
Read more on the webChris Keene
A female pheasant flew up under my feet when I was raking back the undergrowth on 3rd May. Startled, I jumped back, and then checked among the long grass and stinging nettles.
I counted 12 eggs, then carefully raked back the undergrowth.