Sunday, 2 June 2013

Linacre Red Kite and Nest Recording

Last year I blogged about a sighting of Red Kite over Linacre through gritted teeth, as it wasn't me who had seen it. Today, however, I can blog about my own sighting - hurrah!!!! I managed to see one very low, about 15m above my head, flying west over the top reservoir. It's been a long time coming, and I hope the next sighting will come much sooner. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo as I was too busy looking at it and getting over the shock/excitement.

Away from the Kite, the main reason for the trip to Linacre this morning was to check up on the progress of the nest boxes. It was quite a strange experience as I found 28 active nests (27 in the boxes and the Song Thrush nest), which was very good news, but what was weird was the fact that some had chicks that were nearly ready to fledge while others had clutches of eggs still being incubated! In previous years most of the nests have been pretty synchronised, but this year the rule book's been thrown out and anything goes!

Great Tits nearly ready to fledge
Eggs- not ready to fledge yet!
Of the 27 nests in the boxes 6 were definitely Great Tits, 12 were definitely Blue Tits and 9 were either of these two species, but couldn't be identified as they were either eggs or very young chicks. Unfortunately there was no sign of the Pied Flycatcher today and no evidence of a nest in any of the boxes. I'm popping back later in the week to ring those chicks that are old enough. More news and pictures then.

I was also very pleased to re find the Song Thrush nest and even more pleased to find it jam packed full of 4 well grown juvenile Song Thrushes. As you can see they're pretty big. Hopefully they'll still be there on Thursday!

Song Thrushes

On the water breeding was confirmed for Mallard, when a group of 9 ducklings was seen, Coot with 1 group of 3 chicks and Moorhen with 1 small chick on the middle reservoir. In addition, there was an active Coot nest on the middle reservoir and active Great-crested Grebe and Moorhen nests on the top reservoir. I couldn'y see any evidence of the grebe nest on the middle reservoir, but it could have been hidden by the vegetation, which had grown up a lot in the last two weeks.

Mallard and 8 ducklings

All of the above nests will be recorded as part of the BTO's Nest Record Scheme.

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