Sunday, 1 June 2014


GOS (Gwent ornithological society) and BTO (British trust for ornithology) conservationist Stephen Carter (a name I may have mentioned before) paid me a visit yesterday to find some nests and check on the nest boxes. We had blue and great tit nests in a few boxes and all doing well except for one great tit nest that had failed. The eggs had hatched but the wet weather we recently had as either stopped the adults from feeding or water had got into the box and chilled the chicks, either way it was sad and disappointing.
We had nuthatches in a box that has recently fledged and we've also got four different pair of redstarts with Steve finding the fourth nest whilst we were out checking the boxes.

redstart nest with seven eggs

male redstart

Whilst we were out and about Steve also told me about a wood he goes to where he stumbled upon this mallards nest a first for him and he sent me the pic so here it is:-

mallard nest a first for Steve

Also another first for him was this Lesser Redpole nest:-

lesser redpole nest found and photographed by Stephen Carter

Two of the redstart nests had chicks in that were ready for ringing (their legs not their necks) so I stood by whilst Mr Carter did his stuff.

Steve starts to ring the chicks

another one done, what a cutey.

look at the concentration

the last one gets it's ring, look at all that gear.

they all safely put  back into the nest box 

Later we had a scout around for any new nests, Steve found this Linnet nest:-

linnet nest

He also found a blackbirds nest and a Wren building. We watched a male reed bunting singing away and spotted the female but we couldn't locate where the nest was. There were also a Stonechat with its chicks, which was also frustrating that Steve didn't find the nest as they must have nested somewhere near by. 
We did notice this baby frog crawling through the grass we put him back down so it could carry on it's journey:-

 Not a bad afternoon though and great to see most of the birds that's using the boxes being pretty successful except alas for our one great tit.

We've also had quite a few rabbits about the place and by the way our black and white bloodhound Jack has been going berserk about the place I think there may be a warren close by. There could be one by my feeders remember the hole near the feeding station? Well this cheeky bleeder came out of another hole close by and stayed for a while.

cheeky rabbit

they are cute
he looks the part but hasn't caught one yet
 Big thanks to Steve once again for his company, think there's a few more twists as quite a few of the birds are going into second clutches, will Steve find them? watch this space.

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