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Notes from Tiggywinkles: The magic of nature’s spectacle of spring

Heron at Tiggys

Heron at Tiggys

  • by Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham
 

True to form I missed out on our annual baby bird sweepstake.

I had handed over my pound predicting that the first bird orphan to be brought in would be on Sue’s birthday, March 25.

Forlornly the only thing I predicted correctly was that first waif and stray, of the year, would be a robin.

Got that right but I was miles out on the date which turned out to be March 7.

Still this little robin heralded the shape of things to come.

The annual deluge of baby birds dominating every waking moment from now until the autumn.

I wonder if our summer baby bird feeding teams know what is going to hit them. Hundred upon hundred of noisy ever-open mouths clamouring to be fed from dawn till dusk.

Spring has sprung in the hospital but outside every bird’s thoughts seem to be turning towards starting a family and we seem to be in the thick of it.

Some years ago we had planted a host of willow trees around our main pool and even on our makeshift island.

We find them attractive as apparently do the neighbourhood herons.

In previous years we have had the occasional heron adopt one of our trees to nest in. But this year there seems to be three and maybe a fourth of those huge heron nests bring built.

Three already have the males as sentries daring anybody to go anywhere near.

And I think that we can already hear the croaking of babies in one of the nests.

I think we all thrill at seeing these great birds landing in our own heronry with loud calls heralding fresh offerings of food to their mates and their chicks.

I do hope that they will come back every year to nest, truly one of nature’s spectacles of the spring. Magic!

 

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