March Quiz Night

A big thank you to Brian Clarke for organising and presenting the SLB Bird Quiz for March’s indoor meeting. Brian had booked a speaker for the March slot but they had pulled out earlier in the year so it was agreed to hold a quiz night instead.

The 22 participants were divided into 4 teams by drawing lots and then our knowledge was tested! There was a good variety of SLB related questions and formats and some interesting topics but a team consisting of Martin S, Ann S, Peggy, Rita N, Rita R & Graham managed to triumph. Generous prizes were kindly donated by Brian and all participants received a prize – so Brian thanks again for your hard work.

From the feedback the quiz was enjoyed by all and made for an entertaining evening among friends.

Attenborough Arboretum Nest Boxes

Today a small group of members went to Attenborough Arboretum to check on the 22 SLB nest boxes and repair and or re-site as necessary. Before then though we undertook a check of the 2 SLB boxes in the churchyard at Blaby All Saints church. This revealed 2 great tit nests one successfully fledged another unsuccessful with several dead young inside.

At Attenborough Arboretum despite the lovely surroundings – this is an arboretum after all – the boxes showed little signs of use with only one, a tit box, confirmed as occupied. There is no shortage of cover and there was no evidence of disturbance to account for the dismal take up of the boxes. The trees are largely native and the boxes were sited on trees such as silver birch, lime, whitebeam, ash and oak. 

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In the hour we were there we saw and/or heard the following –

Robin, blue tit, great tit, nuthatch, treecreeper, blackbird, mistle thrush, magpie, goldfinch, goldcrest, wren, great spotted woodpecker, bullfinch, chaffinch, jackdaw, long tailed tit – so no shortage of bird life. 

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Here’s hoping for better results next year ………

SLB Nest Boxes at Rectory Farm

Club members consisting of Dave J, Brian P, Roger, John, Jane H, Martin W & Graham had a visit to Rectory Farm on Monday 22nd October to clean and replace the existing boxes as necessary.

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We replaced 2 boxes, refurbished another and added 2 more including a superb little owl type box which we placed in the “middle spinney” away from the other 2 nest box areas.  A big thank you to Brian who made all the boxes!

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Out of the 25 existing separate boxes spread over 3 areas, 12 were used to varying degrees. The tree sparrow colony boxes do seem to show extensive use and successful breeding which we are all very pleased about.

Other boxes showed signs of activity with successful fledging, nest material, unhatched eggs, dead fledgling or partial/obvious use.

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“Large” Spinney:-

Box 1 – used

Box 2 – used box was replaced with new box, same number

Box 3 – robin box – not used

Box 4 – robin box – not used

Box 5 – blue tit box – not used

Box 6 – robin box – not used

Box 7 – tit box – used by tree sparrow

Box 8 – robin box – not used

Box 9 – robin box – not used

Box 10 – blue tit box – not used

Box 10a – tree sparrow box – used

Box 10b – tree sparrow box – new box 2018 put up

Box 11a, b, c – original colony box – all compartments used

Box 11d and e – compartment d not used, compartment e – used

Box 11f and g – compartment f not used, compartment g – used

Box 12a, b, c – original colony box –used – nest material in all compartments but appeared unfinished/not used.

“Middle” Spinney – a little owl box newly erected 2018

“Small” Spinney

Box 12 – robin box – not used

Box 13 – used by tree sparrow – new box erected to replace, same number 2018

Box 13a – robin box – not used

Box 14 – blue tit box – used by tree sparrow, one unhatched egg in box

Box 15 – new box erected, old box on ground

Box 16 – not used

Box 17 – not used

Box 18 – blue tit box – used -nest material – one unhatched egg.

Oak Tree

Box 20 – blue tit box – used

Box 21 – robin box – not used

It was disappointing again to find that none of the robin/open fronted boxes have been used so we re-sited one and will look to re-site others so that they have more cover and see if that improves occupancy.