Sunday, 7 April 2013

Boxes galore

The weather hasn't changed, still cold and miserable. The reservoir is still silent as I found out this morning whilst erecting the final two nest boxes.

Friday evening I wandered down the road to a couple of houses nr the woods hoping to gain permission to erect nest boxes this week and then later in the year for the next season. The first house I knocked on presented with me an old lady. Hmm I thought. Anyway, after explaining who I was, what I wanted to do and why I wanted to do it the lady agreed to let me put boxes up in her small woodland over the weekend. I showed her an NRS leaflet to which she replied - "ahh, the BTO. I counted the local Rookeries for them years ago, must have been around the mid 70's." Wow, meeting some-one who took part in the 1975 Rookery Census is impressive because reading the annual County Bird report for 1975 and 1976 take up in Cornwall was abysmal with only 30 people surveying. A follow up county survey in 1976 didn't fare much better with only 100 people taking part from a bird club membership of 1000. Mrs Harvey's area at the time consisted of 50 nests. Today it consists of nothing. Five minutes up the road Stennack Wood consisted of 20 nests, once again nothing today. There is a small colony of 11 nests in Troon but the decline is evident.

Over the road and Mr and Mrs Piper have allowed me to put boxes up in the section of wood that they own. Reckon they'll be somewhere between 30-50 boxes when I've finished, ranging from Tits to Nuthatch and Woodpeckers.

Yesterday over at Hells Mouth the Cormorant chicks have begun to hatch with one nest containing two young and one egg and another nest containing at least one chick with the other contents unknown. Two nests still contain the full clutch of four eggs and one nest has been dismantled again for the second time. From four Raven sites only one is in use at the moment and no sign of any nesting activity from the resident Raptor's. Three Shag's on eggs, the rest still standing on empty nests.

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