Saturday, 27 April 2013

Linacre nests at last and summer migrants

Today started with a walk around Linacre to check the tit boxes. After a complete blank back on the 13th I was hoping for something, anything, and thankfully I wasn't completely disappointed. No eggs or birds were found in the boxes, but at least there were 14 nests being built. They ranged from a few pieces of moss up to a nests lined with feathers, so hopefully there should be some eggs this year and some records for the BTO's Nest Record Scheme.

1 of the most advance nests
Also found in one of the boxes was a Brown Long-eared Bat. It was in the same box as previously (see here), and, as can be seen on the picture, there was small mite on it as well.
Brown Long-eared Bat
As well as checking the nest boxes I also walked all around the valley today and managed a couple of new species for the year; House Martin (6 over the middle reservoir) and Swift (1 over the middle reservoir). The Swift was my earliest ever record since recording began in 2006. 30ish Swallows were also present today, along with at least 3 singing Blackcaps, 4 singing Chiffchaffs and 7 singing Willow Warblers! An adult male Pied Wagtail was on the top reservoir. Another first for me was a record of Toad, with 4 dead on the boardwalk. They all looked as if they had been eaten, presumably by Carrion Crows?

Whilst walking around I met Jackie,one of the rangers and a volunteer, Antony, who told me they had recorded some Common Lizards around the top reservoir this year and Grass Snakes around Spire View, so there's 2 new species for my records. Something else for me to look for!!

One final report from Linacre as this bumblebee, which I think is a White-tailed Bumblebee, seen here feeding on a Willow.

White-tailed Bumblebee

After lunch I had a walk up to Barbrook Plantation with Jayne, where we spotted a nice male Wheatear and a stunning male Redstart. 2 more year ticks.

Dodgy photo!
Singing Redstart

Year List update:
115 – Red Grouse (1 last week on Burbage Moor)
116 – House Martin
117 – Swift
118 – Wheatear
119 - Redstart


  1. Glad to see your birds are finally beginning to nest, found my first nests of the year this weekend in the form of a song thrush, blackbird and a happy find for me in a skylark, only a single egg in the clutch up to yet for the skylark and both blackbird and song thrush had 2 eggs in them.

    This is barring the water birds mind, the coots are incubating now.

    Hope to hear back soon mate

    1. Thanks Dominic, good to hear from you again and to hear your season is beginning. We've not got any water birds yet, except for the Mandarins in the boxes. Hopefully soon.