Sunday, 10 May 2015

2015 - A new season starts

Well, I haven't posted for 10 months so I guess it's time I started again. The first image is my coastal site, I monitor this small islet which contains Cormorant on the top ridge, Shag and Herring Gull on the lower slopes and also two pairs of Lesser Black-backed Gull. I also monitor the cliff face where Fulmar and Auk's use ledges and a few more Herring Gull breed. A smaller islet nearby sometimes hosts a pair of breeding Oystercatcher, they were prospecting the other week. 

This year 11 pairs of Cormorant have nested although I have 12 nest records. One nest failed with 3 eggs after a storm. It's possible this clutch was incomplete. They have now re-laid. Here's one of the nests with it's first egg .

After around a month of incubation the eggs hatch, here can be seen three chicks from a clutch of 3 eggs.

My nest boxes in the local woods have exploded in use. In 2014 37 boxes were used from 84 boxes. This year I have nearly 60 showing signs of use from 90 boxes. Here is a Blue Tit's clutch of 11 eggs which were cold at the time so it was possible another egg was still to be laid before incubation started.

A Song Thrush flushed from a small stump adjacent to a path in the woods giving away it's nest. As you can see it contains 4 eggs. The two pictures below indicate the position of the nest.

A new species for me this year - Nuthatch. In the woods last year I erected boxes for Blue Tit, Great Tit and Nuthatch. Nuthatch have a larger entrance hole of 32mm and were only used last season by Great Tit so it came of great delight this year during a box round to find mud around the entrance hole and under the lid. This was found during the building stage, a further inspection found two eggs and then after incubation had started a 20 minute wait in a bush for the female to come off and feed gave a full clutch of 7 eggs. Nice. Should be hatching about now......


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