Weekly Wildlife

It’s been a week of big and magnificent birds in Sherwood and Budby.

We’ll kick off with one of the UKs most loved raptors; the red kite! With a wingspan of 180cm these birds are often described as being like a piece of paper floating in the wind. Two individuals have been seen circling above the northern end of Budby. They are very recognisable in flight, with a very obvious ‘fork’ shaped tail.

Red kite over Budby, by Indy Kiemel Greene.

Another bird that has finally decided to make an appearance is the crossbill! The bird looks exactly as the name suggests; they have a crossed beak! This has been especially evolved to enable the bird to pick the seeds out of pinecones – clever stuff! They breed on Budby and last winter we had big numbers on the reserve. But because we’ve had such a mild winter not many birds have moved south from Scotland to Nottinghamshire.

Yesterday a single was seen on Thoresby Park just next to Budby. So hopefully now some have returned they will soon be a common sight on Budby this Spring. Keep an eye on the tops of larch or pine trees for these chunky finches. Males have a red plumage, females a yellow.


Male crossbill, by Indy Kiemel Greene.

Last but not least, the lesser redpoll, another wintering bird often seen in Sherwood Forest. There are approximately 3 lesser redpoll flocks in Sherwood at the moment; each with about 10-15 birds. Similarly to crossbills, they can been spotted on the tops of larch, pine or birch trees and if you’re very lucky, the feeders outside the visitor centre! But make the most of these winter visitors as before you know it they will be heading back up north again for the summer.

I still remember the first time I saw one. I had literally no idea what it was! But since my first sighting of the Lesser redpoll 3 years ago I have learnt that there are many other redpoll species – but I can assure you that the lesser redpoll is by far the best looking! 😎

Lesser redpoll by Indy Kiemel Greene.

Let us know what you see!

Remember to fill in the recent sightings book in the Visitor Centre. Leave your comments on our Facebook page and tag us in your Tweets on Twitter if you have any wildlife sightings or identification queries.