28 March 2011

Nunnery Nest bonanza – Birds Get Busy in Thetford

Dave Leech said:

Braving the slight drop in temperatures after a sunny week, The Nunnery Ringing Group nest recorders roamed Thetford’s green spaces and the BTO reserve in search of breeding birds. Concerns of a slow start to the season voiced by the more pessimistic members of the group proved to be unfounded as the weekend’s activities significantly increased our totals, thanks largely to a star turn by Rachel Portnall who found 12 nests in just two hours on Saturday morning.

The thrushes have really started in earnest now and we’re currently monitoring 17 Blackbird nests, of which two have large chicks, four are on eggs and the rest are ready for laying. We’ve also found three Song Thrush, all currently on eggs (see photo below),

our only Dunnock is likely to hatch mid-week, and two of our three Robins are currently on eggs. Sunday also saw the first Long-tailed Tit egg of the year (see photo below), with several other nests ready for eggs and a couple more being rebuilt after being ripped open by predators (who, being a fortnight premature, received nothing for their troubles). The pigeons are at it too, with two Woodpigeons and two Collared Doves currently sitting, and the Mallards and Greylag Geese on the reserve have also started to lay.

So, now is a great time to check bushes and trees for nesting birds and submit your data to the BTO. The Nest Box Challenge is an entry-level scheme, designed for people monitoring one or two nests in their gardens. If you wander further afield and record larger numbers of nests in local woods or farmland, then you can register for the Nest Record Scheme.

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