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.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Two more

Finding Wood Warbler nests in July in generally quite tricky as the birds go virtually silent so any new nest now is a bonus. I was therefore pleased to find two new nests today, despite wasting an awful lot of time on the male from the failed Goshawk wood nest. He definitely has a mate (possibly the same one as before but she isn't colour ringed so I don't know) but I watched her on and off for over an hour and although she made alarm calls on occasion, she showed no sign of returning to her nest. Normally I would interpret this as meaning she is building or laying but she can't be that far behind now. Maybe she doesn't feel the need to incubate the eggs in this heat?

On to the successes. 'Porker nest' (because it's going to be a pig to re-find) was a bit of a fluke. I heard the male sing once but I was a long way away and couldn't tell where he was. I fought my way through the dense scrubby woodland until it got too thick and I then made a detour - right to the nest where the adults started giving alarms. They have five chicks that are one to two days old.

How am I going to re-find the nest in there?
Female brooding small chicks at Porker nest
I checked on various other sites where birds have been seen recently, without success until I got to one that I checked during the week but there was no sign of any birds. This time she came off to feed soon after I arrived and I finally managed to pin down the nest site (Double back nest). They have five eggs.

I checked on Whitemoor and Fallen Cedar nests yesterday and both are still ok but no sign of the eggs hatching. The chicks at Swamp Bank Corner are 7 days old today and still fine but a bit too small to colour ring so I'll do that on Monday.

Seven day old Wood Warbler

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