Monday, 10 April 2017

2017 catch up,

I'd got to the stage in December where you think "what does a nester blog about in December" and the answer was nothing that I can be bothered with however - after meeting a dog walker in the local woods on Saturday and a chance comment on this blog by newish nesters Paul and Jo from Devon I sort of thought that this needs to be fired up again as others do actually take inspiration from it so -

2017 is the best start I have had to a nesting season. Currently I have 7 nest records on the coast made up of 5 Cormorant and 2 Shag although in fairness there's no skill in pointing a telescope at a sea bird colony. No, the real action is down in my local woods.

In 2016 my first nest record came on 9th April and due to not fully knowing the woods (2nd season in there) and too much time spent on the coast I only actually found 11 open nests. To date this year I already have 10 made up of 7 Song Thrush, 2 Blackbird and a Long-tailed Tit with 2 more empty Blackbirds, 7 empty or part built Wren's, 2 part built Magpies and possibly a half built Dunnock nest.

So, how were these active nests found? 5 of the Song Thrush and both Blackbirds were found cold searching suitable habitat such as trees with ivy, honeysuckle etc. Basically evergreen habitats. One of the remaining Song Thrush was spent cold searching an area that a bird had been seen in the previous day and was found in a hollowed out tree trunk at a height of 4m. The remaining nest was found after egg shell was seen on the path with an alarming bird around 30m further along. The LT Tit nest was found by re-visiting a territory where the birds were present last year. Sure enough they were there but just feeding. The next weekend the pair were there again but not giving anything away making an equal number of trips to a gorse bush as they did a thick bramble patch. The week after both birds present again, alarm calling and only visiting the gorse - After a quick search the nest was found fully built ready for lining.

Nest box rounds will start in the next week, my earliest ever egg in them being 15th April (Blue Tit and Nuthatch)

and the images for this year -

Blackbird 1 egg

empty Blackbird nest

Long-tailed Tit nest made of lichen

half built Wren nest 

Song Thrush viewed with the aid of a mirror 

Wren nest built in ivy against a fence post  

Famous - this little guy is the first hatchling recorded for me in 2017 

This Wren nest is probably the easiest I will ever find. It was made in leafless climber after the male had dismantled last years nest which was present 3 weeks ago and rebuilt it 3 feet to the right.  

This is the start of a Wrens nest. At a height of 1.75m there is no other reason for a piece of dead bracken to be tucked inside ivy against a tree trunk. A similar set up but slightly more substantial was found around 6m away....

1 comment:

  1. You certainly are an inspiration - keep blogging! Any hints and tips on finding nests gratefully received.:) We've done a bit of searching today and found our second ever thrush, a blackbird and what we think is our first tree creeper. Tonight we checked some nests, we were pleased to see 3 blackbirds doing really well - they must be about a week old. How do you manage to give an accurate recording on feather length when they are all hunkered down in the cup? Also, how do you take a good photo of the image in your mirror?!