There’s a clutch of new arrivals at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood this spring with birds flocking for attention across the park.
Thirteen ducklings were sighted on Moors Lake as the first raft took to the water – the highest single hatching figure recorded at Moors Valley. Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita) are being sighted regularly and the swallows are due to arrive any day. The nest cameras are already relaying images of nuthatches (Sita europaea) bringing in bark peeled from the abundant pine trees to line their nest.
“It’s wonderful to hear the dawn chorus as the park wakes up each spring morning,” said Pam, a long-time bird enthusiast and Moors Valley Information Officer. “We are already keeping a watchful eye on many young families and I’m particularly delighted to announce the arrival of a nest of house sparrows near the railway platform at Kingsmere Station.”
Once common in most gardens the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is now Red Listed by the RSPB following a drop in recorded numbers of 71%. It is thought that part of this severe decline has been caused by a lack of insects resulting in poorly fed chicks. “At Moors Valley there are plenty of suitable nest sites for sparrows and natural food sources, and we also provide a feeding station at the back of the Visitor Centre,” added Pam. “It’s a great place to sit quietly and see how many species you can spot.”
For further details visit the website www.moors-valley.co.uk or contact the Rangers on 01425 470721.