BIRDS are flocking for attention at Moors Valley Country Park this spring, after a clutch of new arrivals.

Some 13 ducklings were sighted on Moors Lake, at the attraction near Ringwood, as the first raft took to the water – the single highest hatching figure recorded at the site.

Chiffchaffs are being sighted regularly snapping up insects as they fly past and, with the swallows due to arrive any day the nest cameras are already relaying images of nuthatches bringing in bark peeled from the pine trees to line their nests.

Pam Martin, a long-time bird enthusiast and Moors Valley information officer, said: “It’s wonderful to hear the dawn chorus as the park wakes up each spring morning.

“We are already keeping a watchful eye on many young families and I’m particularly delighted to announce the arrival of a nest of house sparrows near the railway platform at Kingsmere Station.”Once common in most gardens the house sparrow is now Red Listed by the RSPB following a drop in recorded numbers of 71 per cent.

It is thought that part of this severe decline has been caused by a lack of insects resulting in poorly fed chicks.

Pam said: “At Moors Valley there are plenty of suitable nest sites for sparrows and natural food sources, and we also provide a feeding station at the back of the Visitor Centre.

“It’s a great place to sit quietly and see how many species you can spot.”