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.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Woodie update and a challenge

Quick check round various nests this evening plus checking camera images from others produced the following results. Started off at Druggy nest but when I was still 30 yds away I was greeted by both adults carrying food and alarming, I couldn't understand this as the young shouldn't be fledging yet but I found two huddled together on the ground under some bracken. I've never seen them on the ground after fledging before and I reckoned there was a good chance that something had disturbed the nest to cause them to go prematurely. Sure enough...

As you can see, this is at 11.29am today and it only seemed to get one chick. The Jay returned at 11.34 and 11.51 and 14.03 but didn't seem to get anything so hopefully five of the six got away.

I checked Fir Twig Tent which should have fledged and the nest was empty but the camera seemed to play up yesterday and I will need to spend some time searching for them to be 100% sure they got away. I also checked up on Wet Ditch nest which I feared would be empty after the six eggs was reduced to three young. The signs weren't good, male singing nearby, nothing moving around the nest when I watched from the car for a few minutes but when I went to the nest, out came the female! Still three young.

Checking nest cameras from previous days confirmed that Bridge nest was successful. It's not often that the cameras pick up the actual moment of fledging.

So on to the challenge. Regular readers will remember that Repeat Wood nest failed due to apparent desertion of the six eggs and that when I set up the camera I didn't have enough batteries for the monitor so I'd had to just point it in roughly the right direction and hope for the best. I didn't bother to look at the images for a while as I didn't expect anything of interest but I was wrong. The following images may reveal why the nest was abandoned. The area you should look at is top left.

So what do people think the images show? I have an idea but I won't influence people by saying what I think at the moment. Last year we had some images of a mystery predator and opinions didn't even agree on whether it was mammal or bird so I'd be really interested in all comments on this. As the camera wasn't aligned properly, the nest is actually very close to the mystery 'object'.

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