11th February 2017 – Holkham Gap List
14th January 2017 – Potteric Carr List
14th November 2015 – Ouse Washes 15 Trip List
Before we set off to Rectory Farm we had one small job to undertake in the church yard – placing two sparrow colony boxes in trees near the south entrance to the church yard. Thanks to Brian Pepall for the professional looking boxes he had made and donated and to Ben Lee for providing the appropriate church contacts.
After our recent successful erection of bird boxes at the Attenborough Arboretum it was time to carry out a post breeding visit to Rectory Farm to check on our boxes there.
The first copse contained twelve boxes and I’m pleased to report that all but three had been used (or at least were full of nesting material). There was full occupancy in the two three-berth sparrow colony boxes, in one of which we found a failed egg which was later identified as a great tit – see photo. One open fronted box was in need of repair and one other was resited to take advantage of thicker cover. Four of the five tit boxes and three of the five open fronted boxes were used with evidence that one of the latter was being used by a small rodent, given the amount of fresh leaves and twigs it contained.
On to the second copse approximately 100 metres nearer to Eyebrook reservoir where nine boxes had been placed. Despite a good search we only located eight – quite where the last one was we still don’t know! Less successful breeding here as only two boxes had been occupied but this is a smaller copse and may not be as desireable as the other. It may also have been the fact that Phil from Rectory Farm had positioned a purpose built seed feeder rack with five feeders near to the first copse which may have had a bearing on the bird’s choice of nesting site.
It was decided to purchase some nest box metal plates for the tit boxes as it was clear a woodpecker had been chipping away at the boxes over the summer. We will make a return trip to instal them soon.
A big thank you to the members who completed the task – Roger, Jane H, Brian C, Brian P, Barry, Ben & Graham.
Six members of the group put up 22 nest boxes in the Arboretum grounds, off Knighton Road, Leicester – 14 tit boxes and 8 open fronted robin type boxes. A mix of trees and height of box were used and monitoring of the success or otherwise of the various locations will be undertaken following next years breeding season.
Thanks to Ben Lee, Dave Johnson, Roger Keightley, Jane Hibbert, Brian Pepall and Graham Turner for their time, use of equipment and erecting skills.
Photos of the workforce below.
Following on from Phil Johnson talk at our December indoor meeting it came to light that the bird boxes we had placed in two of the spinneys on the farm were no longer being monitored by Dr Colin Hewitt. It was therefore decided to arrange for a working party to visit the farm to clean them all out and carry out any repairs necessary and if possible to have them ready for this Spring’s breeding season.
So our intrepid group consisting of Roger, Jane H , Sue W, Brian C, and John set off to complete the task in hand. Despite the spinneys being much more dense and them having to fight their way through the branches and the undergrowth they managed to find 21 boxes.
They were happy to report that despite the lack of any attention being given to the boxes their overall condition was very good with just a few in need of repair, and more importantly most of them had been used!
After all of them had received a good clean out, with some being fixed more securely to their tree, a couple of Robin boxes being re sited and a new roof being made for one of the Blue Tit boxes they are now all ready for this years breeding season. Another visit will be arranged later in the year to record breeding successes.
Bring on the birds!
16th April 2016 – Goyt Valley