The morning today was spent at Ventongimps, the nesting patch of James who is in his first proper year as a nester. To date he had found a LT Tit nest with 5 eggs. The patch is made up of marshy areas, plenty of gorse, some wet woodland with some exciting species to get to grips with later in the season. Plenty of singing Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff, a couple of singing Yellowhammer were a real treat and one or two Snipe were flushed.
So, having had a stroll whilst talking and watching we arrived at the said LT Tit nest, gently tapped and nothing flushed. James carefully placed his finger inside to count 8 eggs as the female was already off feeding . Real care needs to be taken with these so as not to damage the fixings or enlargen the entrance hole.The nest was found on the 5th April so first egg date was the 1st April, incubation would start around 7th/8th April lasting usually 14-16 days so hatching could take place around the 23rd April (ish). No need for further visits until this date.
On the way back we walked through the wet woodland where a brown bird flushed, female Blackbird or Song Thrush. A quick search through the suitable habitat in front of us (ivy on trees and stumps) and James found it. Really pleased it was him and not me. Song Thrush incubating 4 eggs.
Another potential nest came about when I saw some moss and bracken hanging in honeysuckle. Dead bracken doesn't find it's own way into honeysuckle so Wren nest. Just have to wait and see now whether it's remains of an old one or a new one at N1, the latter being my gut feeling.
Using a small dental mirror James also found a Tit nest in a natural cavity on a tree, the area below the entrance hole had some wear and tear and with a Great Tit calling in the background the owner may have identified himself. There was also a healthy collection of Woodpigeon nests, whether any will be used or not, time will tell
An excellent morning topped off with James finding a nest. It doesn't get any better.
Back to my own survey, on the way back from Ventongimps I called in at a friends of my parents house, a large country garden overlooking the River Fal. I have had 3 boxes here of which Tit's used 2 of them the last two seasons. A fourth (Nuthatch) box was erected during the winter when the species started to use her feeders. No Nuthatch using it but all four boxes had Tit nests with one box having one egg.
Visiting the coast afterwards 9 Cormorants have now laid, just leaving 2 to do so and another two Shag have laid.
The images -
James counting LT Tit nests
potential nest at N1 for Wren