5-23 Carisbrooke Road Leicester LE2 3TQ


October 2023



21st October

The unseasonably warm start to the month has now given way to wetter and colder weather and Autumn proper has arrived. All the trees are producing seeds of one sort or another another, and the leaves on the deciduous trees have started turning colour, as the daylight hours decrease and daily temperatures drop.

Since my initial blog work to clean the nest boxes has started. So far five have been retrieved and inspected with sadly no sign of use during the breeding season just past. However, one box does have droppings inside which indicates that it has been used aas a roosting site at some point.

Meanwhile, the bird life in the arboretum has been busy. Blue, Long-Tailed and Great tits are beginning to gather in small flocks which are flitting from tree to tree in search of food. Both Green and Great-Spotted Woodpeckers have also become a familiar sight. The Green Woodpecker is particularly vocal; its 'laughing' call echoing through the arboretum.

I have not yet seen any Redwing. Elsewhere in Leicestershire there have already been some sightings of this migratory Thrush from Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Hopefully the abundance of berries and fallen apples will result in this striking looking Thrush gracing our arboretum in the near future.

I did, however, see two Goldcrest. My attention was first attracted to the United kingdom's smallest bird by its high-pitched call as it flitted ceaselessly about one of the conifer trees in search of food. Despite the Goldcrest's restless movement, with patience I was able to have some good views of this tiny bird!

In addition to spending time in the arboretum I have visited Norfolk to view the 'Snettisham Spectacular', which was featured in the BBC's Country File programme, broadcast on Sunday 15th October. The spectacular is the gathering together of huge numbers of wading birds on The Wash which are then ushed up towards the foreshore at Snettisham on a high tide. They can be viewed from the RSPB's Snettisham reserve. It truly is one of the United Kingdom's finest wildlife events. Should anyone be interested in experiencing this for themselves; details of when these spectaculars take place they can be found on the website of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Phil Taylor