On Sunday April 2, I carried out the first Common Bird Census for the 2017 breeding season on Cleaver Heath. I noted a total of 20 species within and around the borders of the reserve, many identified by their songs (the male birds) and their calls. Some – such as the flock of 30 Curlew – were flying over to settle in nearby farmland.
Among those setting up breeding territories in the reserve were 4 chiffchaff and 3 willow warblers. Of particular interest was a pair of chiffchaffs who seem to be building a nest in the ex-carpark area, right next to the new (3 year old) natural hedge which is growing nicely alongside the railings. The chiffchaff pair are installing quite a bit of nesting material down there. I went back today, to take a picture of the area from where the female was calling and of the male perched on a nearby oak sapling.