Sunday, 15 May 2011

Linacre 15th May 2011 - First Coots' nest of the year, another Year Tick and two new breeding records!

Yesterday's visit to Linacre was so busy that when I came to blog about it I completely forgot to mention that, as well as checking all the nest boxes, we also found our first Coot's nest of the year. Normally the birds build a nest in amongst the waterside vegetation, but obviously with the water levels so low this year, this has not been possible. Instead this pair have decided to build their nest on the stones by the edge of the water on the dam wall of the middle reservoir.


I popped back this afternoon and during my visit, the birds swopped places on the nest with the right hand bird swimming off to collect more sticks, which the left hand bird then added to the nest.

Whilst there I also walked around the bottom reservoir, which is in the process of being drained, and took a few photos of the water levels.

As you can see, small spits of land are appearing and the water is already about 5m below it's normal level. Luckily the Little Grebe's nest is attached to the bales of hay in the water and they've gone down with the water so the nest is still safe. An adult was sitting on the nest and the other adult was again nearby. Hopefully by next week the eggs should have hatched.

Also flying about today were 6 Swifts and another first for the year, 6 House Martins. The male Pied Flycatcher was also singing around the picnic area by the middle reservoir and 2 Grey Wagtails were feeding on the water's edge. Both Magpie and Jackdaw were seen carrying food to their respective nests, which adds these 2 species to the ever-increasing list of Linacre's breeding birds.

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