This blog is written by employees of Nottinghamshire County Council, the views in this blog are personal and may not be shared by the County Council.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Twit Twoo storey home seeks a first time flyer.......

The janitors have been very busy building an Owl box for the Wetland area. The box is built to strict specifications for (hopefully) a Barn owl, but Kestrels are also known to take up residence in these boxes (along with naughty squirrels, crows and pigeons).

A hatch has been put on the front so that it can be cleaned easily but also as access for trained Bird Ringers to ring any chicks born in the box. Here's to hoping that a bird of some sort takes up residence in it......both Kestrel and Owls have been spotted in the area it is going.......

Snowdrops dropping in.....

Is Spring arriving early at Rufford......? 
Male Goldcrests have been seen courting, and then under a weeping Ash Tree these Snowdrops were spotted.....what next....Bluebells...nesting birds or even frogspawn!

Keep an eye out at Rufford Country Park for all of these signs and hope that the Wildlife does not get a shock if we get a cold couple of months.......

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Rambling Hawfinches

On Saturday 18th January a Hawfinch Ramble was organised by Rufford Country Park and jointly delivered by the RSPB.

Several sightings of avid birdwatchers were spotted throughout the morning, mainly gathering in a flock in the car park, occasionally feeding and drinking.

The bird in question was later spotted keeping an eye on the car park from a distance.

The whole event was a success with numbers turning up the next day for a similar outing.

A similar walk is being held on Sunday 16th March from 7-9am.

Places are filling up fast so please contact;

Events in February

Rufford Country Park hosts a wide variety of events, from the ever popular Ceramics Fair and the 1940's weekend, to Ranger led activities like Pond Dipping and Making Homes for Wildlife.

In February the following events are scheduled to take place.
(**These event dates may change, keep checking for new events**)

  • Saturday 1st February, Bird Ringing demonstration (Sadly cancelled due to high winds, being rescheduled)

  • Monday 17th February, Build a Birdbox

  • Thursday 20th February, Terrific Trees

Please contact our Events Officer for information on these events.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

A bird in the hand.......

2014 sees the dawning of a new era for the Ranger's Team at Rufford Abbey Country Park. We are going all technical, providing you with an up to date account of events, wildlife, history and other goings on at this beautiful Country Park.

First up is something that usually happens in the early mornings, in less public areas, Bird Ringing.
Bird Ringing is undertaken to discover;
  • Age of birds
  • Weight of birds
  • Their wing length
  • Their movements
It is an integral tool in tracking the movement of birds as well as monitoring the more scarcer species and monitoring populations. A small ring is placed harmlessly on the bird's leg so it can be identified and recorded when caught again at the same or a different site.

Rufford's Events Officer (Gary) organised a Ringing demonstration led by the Birklands Ringing Group in the Wetland area of Rufford Country Park. This was to see which species of birds had been visiting the feeding stations built by the Ranger Team.

The feeding stations include a mixture of hanging feeders, platform tables and mesh cages placed on the floor. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust kindly supplied a hopper feeder to entice birds to the area. This variety of feeding stations provides supplimentary feeding for different species of birds. Supplimentary feeding is important for birds during the winter as natural food may become scarce.

The session started at 8am and the weather was brisk but sunny. Nets were erected by the group in two locations near the feeders and then it was a waiting game.........

......after a short wait we were rewarded with some willing birds. These were prompty and safely removed from the mist nets and taken to the shelter for processing. A ring is then harmlessly put onto the bird. Each ring has a unique number which is entered into a national database with the details gathered for that bird. The bird's weight and wingspan are then measured (this can help with sexing certain species), then they are aged. Different colours on bird's wings can also help with ageing birds.

Birds caught and ringed included;
  • Great Tit
  • Blue Tit
  • Coal Tit
  • Wren
  • Robin
  • Dunnock
  • Chaffinch
  • Blackbird
  • Bullfinch

Another Ringing demonstration is being held at Rufford Country Park on Saturday 1st February 8am-12,
Pre booking only. 
Contact: gary.joynt@nottscc.gov.uk