April 2007  - Birdwatch

"Well, spring has sprung, and some grass has ris, but I wonder where the birdies is? Several pioneers of the main early arrivals made it to UK pretty much on schedule, with Wheatears and Sand Martins pretty much across the country by late March. Indeed, the Sand Martins have wasted no time with several nest holes in use in Wokingham last weekend. I wonder if the usual individuals will return to nest in the pipes in the wall above the stream at Odney Club this year? Haven't heard of any House Martins yet though. I got the impression none bred anywhere in the Cookhams last summer so I am appealing for all records of nesting House Martins this year, for the new Cookham Wildlife Dossier we are constructing as part of the Village Plan activity. Do please let me know. Swallows too are hard to find yet, but another couple of weeks should see them everywhere. The first Turtle Dove record for this year came way in Orkney! It must have flown at night to avoid being seen by English birdwatchers!


BullfinchI said in recent times we have not had a Rookery in Cookham for a long time. Well, I either lied or a new colony has set up at Saches Island with about 10 nests. Both Buzzards and Red Kites have been shaping up to breed in or around the village this season, so lets hope they do better than in 2006 which resulted in no successful young for either species. Blue Tits and Great Tits are busy carrying nesting material this week and several Crows are already on eggs. Collared Doves have been breeding since February but I suspect Magpies are making short work of each successive clutch as I have seen no young. Lapwings have been displaying on Widbrook so lets hope they find a gap amongst the cattle to breed successfully.


Hopefully our Sedge and Reed Warblers will soon be in the reedbeds along Strand Water and the Swifts screaming between our houses, another species I would be grateful to hear about if known to be breeding nearby, together with Bullfinch records, as both species are in decline across the UK. As mentioned, we want to create a picture of the natural history in our lovely villages so please help us achieve that. If for example you have a garden pond (without fish) that might therefore host newts, dragonflies etc, it would be great to know about it. We could also arrange for it to be surveyed for you if you are interested. Also, if you have a little natural history experience or interest and would like to help with surveying plants, insects or birds, do get in touch with us; there is much to do.

Brian Clews"