The Chestnut Cure

Friday, 21st April 2006

wood pigeon3.15 pm, Thornhill Rectory Park

A wood pigeon clatters its wings in a dipping flight between horse chestnut and lime when another flies across nearby.

treecreepertreecreeperA treecreeper investigates the numerous crevices in the warty bark of the overhanging branch of the chestnut.

Nest Hole

nest holegreat titgreat titA great tit appears with greenery in its beak, possibly a leaf or flower from the horse chestnut and takes it into a nest hole, that resembles a navel in a swollen joint of the tree. I've heard it suggested that some birds incorporate greenery into a nest as a kind of natural insecticide; some parts of the Horse chestnut are poisonous and extracts from it have been used in the past to treat haemorrhoids and wounds. It gets its name because it was used to treat horses.

Sparrows and Sandpiper

tree sparrowWe heard chiffchaff and willow warbler singing, not may of them but it's good to have them back from Africa, and we were pleased to see four tree sparrows in hedges near the Figure of Three locks. There has been concern about their decline in recent years but hopefully they'll build up their numbers again.

We're surprised to see a sandpiper fly down the canal and land at the water's edge. We've seen them on the river but I don't remember having seen one on the canal before. Next Page

Richard Bell,