Sunday, 17 May 2015

Linacre Nestbox Update

This morning I spent 3 hours with Ray, my ringing trainer, checking the tit boxes at Linacre Reservoirs. By the end of the session we'd recorded a total of 39 active nests (up from 18 in April), ringed our first brood of Blue Tits (8 chicks), found a Wren's nest in one of the boxes with 3 eggs, recorded 2 ringed Blue Tits using the boxes, and found a Blackbird's nest complete with 1 warm egg!

First up the nest boxes. As stated, there were 39 active nests today. The vast majority were Blue and Great Tits, along with 1 Wren. Most of the nests were still being incubated, but a few had chicks that were hatching, so next week should be a very busy time for ringing! Here are a few photos from today's session. Firstly, a Great Tit's nest that I had to include due to its amazing symmetry.

Great Tit

Next up, the Blackbird's nest. As you can see, there is just 1 egg in at the moment. This nest was found on the woodland floor, so it may noy survive predation, but hopefully, there will be a few more in over the next few days.   

Blackbird's nest

Lastly, here's a picture of a nest that was found in one of the tit boxes. If you look carefully, you can see eggs of 2 different sizes. The nest was being incubated by a Blue Tit, and the 9 eggs on the left hand side of the nest look like Blue Tit eggs, but the 3 larger eggs on the left hand side look more like Great Tit eggs. It will be very interesting to see how this nest develops.
Blue and Great Tit eggs

All of the 39 nests have been entered into the BTO's Nest Record Scheme, and their progress will be monitored  and recorded.

Whilst walking around the reservoirs, we spotted a few other birds, includng a brood of 4 Mandarin Duck chicks, 3 Swifts (the first Linacre record of 2015), 2 Sand Martins and 3 House Martins. Nice!

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