29 May 2010 - Feathered Friends Reunited PDF Print E-mail

I've been speaking with my mates Mike and Cath from City Wildlife Care again recently and they have asked me to remind readers to leave young birds alone, even if they appear to have been abandoned by their parents.

Although I wrote about this subject just a few weeks ago, I'd like to stress again that it's normal for young birds to leave the nest before they are ready to fly; Fledglings often spend a few days building up strength and learning to cope for themselves whilst the parents keep a watchful eye on them from nearby, returning from time to time with food.

Mike and Cath receive lots of calls regarding 'abandoned' young birds at this time of year and always try to repatriate them without delay. They know from experience that parent birds make a far better job of rearing their young than humans can - So it's really important that you don't intervene unless the youngster is in imminent danger.

Mike told me about a recent incident, which I would like to share with you, which illustrates what can happen by heeding this advice;

...A few days ago a call came in from a lady who had seen a female mallard leading 8 newly hatched ducklings along a road. The female had been frightened by traffic and separated from her young, who the lady had collected, taken home and put in a bucket of water. Knowing that mallard often nest quite a distance from water and then lead their ducklings to it, Mike asked the lady where the nearest water was, and to walk to it with the bucket so that the duckling's calls would be heard by the mother.

Fortunately, the mother duck heard the calls en route, landed alongside the lady and followed her to the water, where the family were successfully reunited.

If you come across a young bird (or any other wild animal) that you are concerned about and would like some advice, please feel free to ring City Wildlife Care on 07794 179207 or visit www.citywildlifecare.org.uk


Don't forget the guided nightingale walk at Highnam Wood Reserve this evening, Saturday 29th May.

Highnam Wood is the nearest spot to hear (and hopefully see) nightingales, and is situated to the west of Gloucester, near the junction of the A48 and A40, Take the A48 from Chepstow or A40 from Ross.

The walk starts at 6.30pm and lasts until dusk. If you would like to come along, meet local birder Keith Jones at the RSPB car park (SO 778 190).

Mynydd Maen

Next Sunday, 6th June, there is a guided birdwatching walk along the flank of Mynydd Maen, Cwmbran.

This 4 hour walk starts at 8.00am from Penmaes Road, Cwmbran (off Ty Canol Way, ST 270 955) and is being led by Keith Roylance and Mick Bailey (GOS's geriatric version of Ant and Dec).

This is a great spot to see a host of upland birds including wheatear, redstart, skylark, whinchat, cuckoo, raven and peregrine falcon....Why not set you alarm a bit earlier and come along?


There is yet another birdwatching walk coming up on Friday 11th June, when John Bennett will be leading an evening stroll around Wentwood in search of nightjar and woodcock.

John knows Wentwood like the back of his hand and is just the man to make sure you get to hear and see these elusive species. Both these birds are nocturnal, so if you would like to join in, meet John at the Cadira Beeches car park (ST 422 949) at 8.00pm - And don't forget to bring a torch for the walk back to your car.

New faces are always welcome at GOS events – Please wear suitable clothing and bring binoculars if you have them.

For more details visit www.gwentbirds.org.uk or give me a call on the number below.

Keep in Touch

Thank you to all readers who have taken the time to get in touch. I enjoy hearing from you and can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on 01633 866470.

Mark Stevens