Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Linacre Nestboxes - a first visit

Over the weekend, and yesterday, I paid my first visit of 2017 to monitor the nestboxes at Linacre. I had a feeling they'd be further on than last year, as I'd seen 1 Blue Tit entering a box last weekend. As it turned out, I found a total of 29 boxes with nests in them ranging from N1 to NL, and even 1 with an egg!! The egg is particularly early, with the first one in 2016 not recorded until 5th May!

Nest with an egg (possibly Blue Tit)

On Sunday I checked 4 of the 5 "owl" boxes that I have up around the site. The Little Owl box was empty, as were 3 of the other boxes. The remaining box contained.... a Grey Squirrel nest complete with 2 young squirrels. Last year, two of the owl boxes were used by Mandarin Ducks, but eggs weren't laid until later in the month, so I'll pop back in a couple of weeks to see if anything's happened. All the results will be sent in to the BTO's Nest Record Scheme.

After checking the boxes I walked around the site to carry out this month's WeBS walk. Numbers were quite low, but the following were spotted: Mallard (27), Tufted Duck (27), Coot (7 - including the first nest of 2017 on the top reservoir), Moorhen (3), Mandarin (11), Cormorant (3; 2 adults, including one with a ring, and an immature bird), Great-crested Grebe (3), Mandarin Duck (11) and Grey Wagtail (1).

Mandarin Duck

Other birds seen included a Mistle Thrush carrying food to an unseen nest, 3 Sand Martins, 1 Swallow (first Linacre records of 2017), a minimum of 3 singing Willow Warblers, 5 singing Blackcaps and 4 singing Chiffchaffs. Siskins and Lesser Redpoll were also heard.

It was quite sunny yesterday morning, so there were a few insects flying around, including a single Peacock, several Droneflies (Eristalsis sp), and, best of all, a potential new species; Early Mining Bee.

Early Mining Bee??

Year List update:
122 - Swallow

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