Tag Archives: Screveton

More Birds – Screveton and Sherwood Forest

Here are photographs of more birds from last Wednesday, following up on the previous bird post and the Friday post.

The Goldfinches are acting like a bunch of thugs, quarrelling amongst themselves and driving other birds away. You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but they really can be very aggressive.

We had a flock of Long-tailed tits look in, but they perched in the surrounding trees calling to each other before deciding not to contest the feeders with the Goldfinches. We really need fat balls to tempt them, but after the Jackdaw [roblems earlier in the year I don’t really want to use fat balls again. I may try coconut halves filled with fat as they seemed to work well when we saw them at Sherwood Forest last Friday.

We have moved the second feeder from the back garden to see if we can ease the thuggery by spreading the birds out more. It has never been well used, even though it is situated close to a belt of trees that attracts quite a lot of birds. The ones that use the feeders tend to fly out of the trees and pass it on the way to the other feeder.

Birds can be very strange.

So far, after one day, very few birds have chosen to use the new feeding station, despite it only being five yards from the other.

It’s a tricky situation because we will have to stop feeding the birds at the end of the month when we leave the centre. We haven’t really started feeding properly since we let it tail off in late summer. They have had plenty of food in the fields and some of the food in the feeders had actually gone off because birds had stopped visiting.

I rushed into it last week, cleaning the feeders with a piece of stick and using food that had been stored in a bin for the last few months.  The bin had been chewed by mice and I had to evict several before I could get the food, which smelt very mousy. I’m not sure if this has a bearing on the lack of enthusiasm for some of the feeders.

We will wash the feeders on Monday and refill everything with freshly purchased food. I know I found the smell off-putting and I wouldn’t blame the birds for feeling the same way.

We will feed until we leave and will leave the remains of the food and ask the farm to feed after we have gone. It’s not ideal but it’s the best we can do. Meanwhile the group can continue to watch birds until we finish.

Practical note here – cheap plastic feeders buckle when subjected to boiling water. It may seem hygenic, but it’s annoying to hqve to buy new feeders so be careful. I’m going to use Milton. It works for babies, lambs and apple pressing so it whould work for bird feeders.

The following photographs were some we took in Sherwood Forest on Friday. I’m quite pleased with the shot of the acrobatic Robin eating from the coconut shell and the Nuthatch. I’d hoped we would see a Nuthatch and we did see several in the end, though they are difficult to photograph. Julia managed to get the best shots, much to my frustration. Most of mine looked like blue blurs.


Coal Tit – Sherwood Forest


Acrobatic Robin eating from coconut shell


Great Tit feeding from coconut shell


Nuthatch – Sherwood Forest

The weight of history

It’s Armistice Day again (is it my imagination or is the old name making a comeback after years of Remembrance Day) and time to take a walk up to the Screveton air crash memorial.

On 14th April 1944 a Lancaster and an Airspeed Oxford collided over the village. Margaret Rose, mother of farmer David, was playing with friends when she heard a tremendous bang and looked up to see two aircraft falling to earth.

The pilots both steered the aircraft clear of the houses, crashing in open fields on the edge of the village with the loss of all eleven crew on board.


We go every year because it’s just on the side of the road by the farm. This year we had the company of a charm of goldfinches in a blackthorn tree.


I’ll finish with a poem. It’s not one that I’ve seen before, but I found it whilst looking for Adelstrop, as the blog has mentioned birdsong and the war it seemed to fit in nicely with the poem and the death of Edward Thomas on the Western Front. This seemed more fitting for the day, though I also found this one.

Killed in Action (Edward Thomas)

Happy the man whose home is still
In Nature’s green and peaceful ways;
To wake and hear the birds so loud,
That scream for joy to see the sun
Is shouldering past a sullen cloud.

And we have known those days, when we
Would wait to hear the cuckoo first;
When you and I, with thoughtful mind,
Would help a bird to hide her nest,
For fear of other hands less kind.

But thou, my friend, art lying dead:
War, with its hell-born childishness,
Has claimed thy life, with many more;
The man that loved this England well,
And never left it once before.

W H Davies

The next post will be more cheerful!

Sleepless in Screveton

I’m in the grip of a really nasty cold.  Having spent two sleepless nights coughing fit to bring my lungs up  I’m sleepless in Screveton, cold, shivering, sneezing and generally ready to drop. Quite clearly I’m descending the pit into man flu, a fearful disease that women refuse to believe in.

Despite this I’ve taken part in two meetings, eaten several small cakes with Easter Eggs on top and built a cardboard sheep.

Time for bed now.

Hopefully I will be better tomorrow, or at least suffering from something my wife believes in.