What do sedge warblers look like?

Sedge warblers have an olive-brown mantle and scapulars with dark brown streaks, and a cinnamon rump. On the upperwing the flight feathers are brown with pale buff edges, and the wing coverts are black with paler edges. The rounded tail is dark brown.

The belly is white, the flanks are pale rust and the rest of the underparts are cream or pale buff. On the underwing the axillaries and coverts are white with dark centres.

On the head the chin and throat are white, and the crown is dark with fine streaks. There is a conspicuous pale buff supercilium that extends from the upper base of the bill to the end of the ear coverts where it becomes broader. The lores are dark, and the cheeks and ear coverts are yellowish-brown. The bill has a dark brown upper mandible and yellow lower mandible with a pink base, the eyes are dark brown, and the legs and feet are grey-brown. Male and female sedge warblers are similar.

Juveniles are yellower than adults but with a similar pattern on the body and slight speckles or streaks on the breast. On the head there is a buff stripe in the centre of the crown.

How do sedge warblers breed?

Sedge warblers are monogamous and breed between late April and mid-May and produce 1 or 2 broods a season. The nest in scrubby vegetation, marshes, bushes, and reedbeds near but not on water. It is usually supported on stems. The female builds the nest which is a deep cup-shaped structure made from loosely woven grass, stems, leaves, moss, and sedges, bound together with spider webs. It is lined with softer plant material, hair, and plant down.

Sedge warblers lay 5-6 smooth, glossy, pale green eggs even covered with fine olive specks and mottles, which are incubated by the female alone for 13-15 days. The male will help brood the chicks once they are hatched. Chicks leave the nest 11-12 days after hatching and fledge at 25-30 days.

What do sedge warblers eat?

Sedge warblers eat mainly insects including mayflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, moths, and beetles. They will also eat worms, slugs, snails, and spiders. In autumn and winter it will supplement its diet with plant matter such as berries, fruit, buds, and flowers.

They usually feed at dawn and dusk in low, dense vegetation.

Extract taken from ‘Bird Spot’

Images by CRUSH Photography© www.crush.photography

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from 'Bird Spot'

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A plump, round bird, the red-legged partridge is common on farmland, where it feeds on seeds, leaves and small invertebrates. When disturbed, it prefers to run instead of fly, but will fly short distances if necessary. It breeds in open scrub and farmland, laying its eggs on the ground.

The red-legged partridge is sandy, grey-brown above, with intricate black and brown barring on its sides, and a white throat surrounded by a black necklace. The bright red beak and pink-red legs help to identify it.

‘French or Red Legged Partridge’

The Wildlife Trusts record and monitor our local wildlife to understand the effects of various factors on their populations, such as the introduction of new species. You can help with this vital monitoring work by becoming a volunteer – you’ll not only help local wildlife but learn new skills and make new friends along the way.

More inormation can be obtained from the Wildlife Trust Website

Images on this Blog were taken by CRUSH Photography©

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Acknowledgements: Extracts taken from the Wildlife Trust

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Although the Eurasian Jay is the most colourful member of the crow family, jays are actually quite difficult to see. They are shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover. The screaming call usually lets you know a jay is nearby and it is usually given when a bird is on the move, so watch for a bird flying between the trees with its distinctive flash of white on the rump. Jays are famous for their acorn feeding habits and in the autumn you may see them burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.

You can find jay across most of the UK, except northern Scotland. Lives in both deciduous and coniferous woodland, parks and mature gardens. Likes oak trees in autumn when there are plenty of acorns. Often seen flying across a woodland glade giving its screeching call, it becomes more obvious in autumn when it may fly some distance in the open in search of acorns.

‘Eurasian Jay’

They are resident in the UK all year round apart from northern areas of Scotland and the west coast of Ireland, altogether numbering approximately 170,000 breeding pairs (RSPB). Over winter, due to harsher winters and lower stocks of acorns, Jays do sometimes appear in the UK from northern Europe in “irruptions”, or sudden bursts of large flocks.

Jays nest and breed in large shrubs, laying typically between 4 – 6 eggs that have an incubation period of approximately 16 – 19 days. Both male and female Jays feed the young.

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Acknowledgements: Extracts taken from 'Garden Bird' and more...

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Habitat

The fieldfare a migratory bird, is typically a winter visitor from Scandinavia. They are seen on farmland with large hedges, scrub and woodland laden with berries. In late winter they will feed on grassland and field margins. Mixed farming systems are most suited to the fieldfare as they provide the range of habitats which they require. 

Food

Their diet predominantly consists of berries, fallen fruit, worms, slugs and sometimes grain. Winter foraging will include earthworms, wireworm and leatherjackets

Song/Call

“Schack-schack-schack”- Usually a furious chatter, their song is simple with a few chattering, fast notes.

Beneficial Management of Migratory Bird

‘Fieldfare’
  • Allow specific hedge lines (those with a high percentage of thorn species) to grow on untrimmed for several years with the aim of providing a profusion of berries for winter feeding.
  • Establish extended field margins around arable fields. These will provide additional habitat, but also allow more sympathetic timing of hedge cutting.
  • Maintain a mosaic of mixed cropping across the farm.
  • Permanent pasture with short grass sward, either being grazed or recently grazed will provide an ideal feeding ground.
  • Fieldfare will also forage on over-wintering arable crops and stubbles if these fields have high earthworm numbers.

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Acknowledgements: Extracts taken from 'Game & Wildlife more...

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