We rely on reports from visitors and our own sightings to populate this page. You can also read more about Bedgebury's wildlife on our wildlife and wildflower blogs.
13th January 2018
Reports of albino squirrels continue to come in... Keep the sightings (and photographs) coming in please. Here is an excerpt from the latest email on the subject:
"I have mountain biked around Bedgebury for the past eight years or so. About three years ago, I used to regularly see a white squirrel at the top of Cardiac but then no sightings until late this summer when I saw a slightly ragged, half tailed white squirrel in about the same place. The same animal, but older?
Then, in November this year on the same ride, I spotted one white squirrel in the chestnut coppice at the end of Helter Skelter and then a few minutes later another at the top of Cardiac. Definitely different animals, unless squirrels have access to a helicopter! Perhaps they are the offspring of the half-tailed animal?
The (poor quality) picture (not reproduced here) is of one of the animals at the bottom of Helter Skelter and was taken on 4 December. They do seem particularly shy, hence the poor picture. I have seen them a couple of times since, but not for a couple of weeks."
13 January 2018
The monthly finch roost survey took place today across three locations in the Pinetum in order to get full coverage and avoid re-counting. Ecologist, Simon Ginnaw reported:
"The finch roost survey was interesting today as chaffinch were unexpectedly down, but hawfinch and brambling were absolutely astonishing!!!! The brambling were such a spectacle today, and we have never recorded so many hawfinch for years - definitely in the 22 years I have been birding. An unforgettable winter for us birdwatchers at the Pinetum!"
Also reported: 1 sparrowhawk, 3 raven, 1 firecrest and 1 tawny owl
10th January 2018
Thank you to the birdwatchers who visited Bedgebury today who reported seeing in the Pinetum: 40 coal tit, a goldcrest, a female bullfinch and 2 mistle thrush. More updates on the hawfinch later!
Between 3.00pm-3.30pm the winter migrant birds came in to roost. Today the best place to watch was close to the Gruffalo's Child statue, in particular at the top of the zigzag track there is a bench with a plaque 'to Sebastian 1970-2001'; from here walk in a straight line across the grass to a small clearing and dead ahead is an oak tree and another to the left-hand side. There was much activity at the top of both of these trees as the birds caught the last rays of winter sunshine. We counted approximately (but likely to be more): 12 brambling, 2 lesser redpoll, 5 hawfinch, 2 siskin, 5 chaffinch and we could hear a mistle thrush singing close-by. Further into the Thuja Collection we saw 8 coal tit, 2 pheasant, 1 blackbird, 1 goldcrest, 1 nuthatch and 1 kestrel (flying over). What a fantastic end to the day!
9th January 2018
The birdringing session was busy today with a total of 76 birds ringed! The majority were coal tits (36) and blue tits (26) but there were also others: 2 great spotted woodpecker, 1 dunnock, 1 blackbird, 4 great tit, 2 nuthatch, 1 robin and 3 marsh tit. This was split almost equally between new traps and re-traps.
24 different bird species were spotted or heard while the birdringing took place. All in all – a successful session. Below is an extract from a report by birdringer, Chris George, following the ringing session:
We had a very pleasant morning, not a great deal of variety in the birds caught, however there is a noticeable difference in the ages of the birds compared with last winter.
2016 was reported as a very poor breeding year for most Tits. It is thought that poor weather at a crucial time resulted in many broods failing. 2017 was much better and as a result the proportion of first year birds, compared with those from previous years, is much higher, back up to where it should be.
In January 2017 we only caught 7 blue tits, hardly representative, but that does reflect the poor numbers. Slightly more representative are the numbers from December 2016; but we still only caught 22 blue tits over three sessions. Of these 36% were young birds and 64% older birds. This concurs with the reported poor breeding in 2016.
In this first session of 2018, we caught 26 blue tits and fortunes are reversed. 65% were young birds born last year (2017) and 35% were birds born at least the year before. As most blue tits don't live very long, good productivity is quite important.
The highlights from the roost study later in the afternoon showed: 200+ brambling, 100+ chaffinch, 3 hawfinch, 2 goldfinch, 9 fieldfare, 1 siskin, 1 kestrel, 4 cormorants, 2 ravens and a variety of ducks and crows.
5th January 2018
Thank you to Graham who visited us today all the way from Surrey looking for hawfinch! He was successful at spotting 7 in the usual haunt - where the Gruffalo statue is situated - at between 3.15 and 3.30pm as they were coming in to roost. Also in the same area were 12 brambling and 2 redpoll.
Click here for lists of species spotted in previous years: