Sunday, 24 May 2015

Scotland Wood


Lynne Barnett and I were checking nest-boxes this morning in Scotland Wood on the Kelmarsh Estate. We also had a couple of mist nets in situ which we checked periodically between boxes.

The take-up rate for the boxes this year has been high, suggesting plenty of birds in reasonable condition made it through the winter. Only one box held a surprise inasmuch as it contained a brood of Blue Tits and one Coal Tit nestling! I think that Blue Tits had usurped Coal Tits earlier on in the season but not before the female Coal Tit had laid one egg. This egg presumably had stayed warm and probably hatched before the Blue Tit nestlings. The single youngster was certainly bigger than the nestling Blue Tits and no doubt was receiving more than it's fair share of food! However this is one Coal Tit with an identity crisis as it probably thinks it is a Blue Tit!

The mist nets caught a couple each of Great Tit, Robin and Blackcap and then our second surprise of the day when we found a Jay rolling around in the net. On examination the bird appeared to be an adult female and no doubt breeding in the wood.

Spotted Flycatchers have been much more obvious this week-end, with probably some passage birds on top of our thin scattering of breeders. Certainly most of the villages and woods near to us have calling birds at the moment, but not all will stay to breed.

This evening, Eleanor's daily wander around the Brampton valley below Hanging Houghton paid off with a decent view of a 'cream crown' Marsh Harrier flying south towards Brixworth. Other birds included a Barn Owl in the same area and another one at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell.


Neil M


Blackcap nest and eggs

All images courtesy of
Lynne Barnett

Post a Comment