Sunday, 23 February 2014

New nestboxes for Linacre

It was very windy yesterday morning, so, instead of getting out ringing, I went down to Linacre to put up 10 tit boxes that will replace some old ones and some of the open fronted boxes that have, unfortunately, never been used since being installed in 2006!

Nestboxes ready to go up!

On Thursday I was up at Linacre with a couple of guys from the Ringing Group, and Alan from Chesterfield RSPB Group, to put up another "owl box". It's most likely too late to be used by an owl this year, but it could still get used by the Mandarin Ducks. Whilst there, we also checked the other owl boxes. A Tawny Owl was roosting in a Holly tree near to one of the boxes, but the box itself was empty- again!!

Alan up a ladder.

I recently applied for a "restricted C permit" from the BTO, which means I will be able to monitor the boxes by myself this year, and also ring any chicks that I find. I'll also be filling in Nest Record Cards for all the nesting attempts and sending them off to the BTO's Nest Record Scheme. More updates will appear on the blog later in the year.

After putting up the boxes I had a walk around the site. Waterfowl numbers were much lower than last week, especially Mallards and Tufted Duck, with just 48 and 38 respectively. Mandarin were down to just 3(!) and Coot and Moorhen were also lower at 9 and 7.

On a more positive note, there were 3 Cormorants, 6 Goosander (4 males and 2 females), 2 summer plumaged Little Grebes and the year's highest count of Black-headed Gulls (83). The single summer plumaged Great-crested Grebe was still present on the middle reservoir, and I had  first record of Grey Wagtail since the start of January with 3 present around the reservoirs. There was also a Canada Goose on the top reservoir, which was only my second February record, the last being 3 in 2010.

Away from the water there were 5 Mistle Thrushes feeding in the fields by the main entrance, a pair of Kestrels displaying over the woods, a Common Buzzard being hassled by Crows, singing Goldcrests and the flock of Crossbills.

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