Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Living up to their names

Do you ever have days when you'd have been better off staying in bed? Well that just about sums up the last two days.

Yesterday I spent much of the day looking for just one nest - 'Sneaky nest'. Actually this name was coined last year when one pair completely escaped detection until the young were about one day from fledging, despite the fact that there were two other nests in the vicinity which we visited regularly. The adult birds are different this year but they are living up to the name of their territory. When I eventually saw the female drop to the ground I went to get the nest camera before disturbing her. Normally, seeing the spot where a Wood Warbler goes to ground means that you are guaranteed to have found the nest. Not this time!

Ok, let's play spot the nest.....

Now if you're really clever, you'll have spotted the ridiculously exposed Song Thrush nest, 4ft up on the right hand side of the nearest Douglas Fir (unsurprisingly it was empty). I guess you'll need a more close-up picture.

Does that help? Probably not. How about if I put the nest camera on?

I'd be amazed if you can see it even now. It isn't actually the slight dark hole that the camera is pointing at, it's just below that. Putting the camera on was a nightmare as well, threading a cable under all that junk was not fun.

The only other thing of note was a Goshawk that shot past me at a range of about 20 yards when I was sat quietly at the base of a tree.

Having spent so long on this nest I couldn't really face starting on anything else so I headed home via a quick diversion in Lyndhurst to find the larval tubes of Scythris empetrella - my 1539th moth species in Britain!

Today is best just forgotten. The only positive was finding a new colour ringed Wood Warbler of mine but even that turned out to be only half positive as the combination I wrote down hasn't been used! If it was red over white rather than white over red as I wrote then this is 'Jobi' - named by my colleague last year after a footballer of that name with whom she was somewhat obsessed. Actually it turned out to be quite appropriate to name him after a premiership footballer as he was a useless parent, making very little contribution to feeding the young!

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