Friday 1 January 2016

Garden Nests (July update)

Just a quick up date of the nesting activity in the garden this year.

A group of four newly fledged Blackbirds appeared in the garden in late May, if their nest was in the garden it was well concealed as I didn't spot any obvious behaviour from the adults in terms of nest building or delivery of food.

The first signs of nesting was the sighting of a female taking material into the same site as she used for her second nest last year on the x June. She had a clutch of four eggs which all successfully hatched. As they approached the stage for being able to ring them the weather turned to wet and windy for several days so ringing was postponed. As the weather became better a check of the nest revealed that the nest had been abandoned. However, both adults were seen taking food into various areas of undergrowth so I assumed that the chicks were safe and had not be predated. A few days later the youngsters were spotted around the outer edges of the undergrowth and are still feeding in and around the garden.

Despite the weather the female started building another nest and eventually laid two eggs. After a week one of the eggs disappeared from the nest and soon after the female abandoned it leaving the remaining egg behind.

After weeks of having a couple of Linnets hanging around the garden I was beginning to wonder if they were going to do anything. Finally on the 4 July I spotted the female taking nesting material into the same bush that had been used by the Blackbird. Over two days she busily bought nesting material into the bush whilst the male escorted her and sat on top of the bush while she did the nest building.

On the third day (6 July) I saw the female bringing in feathers to line the nest and confirmed on the 7 July that the nest was complete. On the 8 Jul the first egg was laid and on the 10 Jul there were three eggs. On subsequent visits to the nest the female has been sitting tight so I have left her to it not knowing how many eggs she is incubating.

We have recently had a couple of spells of really rough weather and I was concerned the wind buffeting the bush was going to destroy the nest or at least eject some or all of the eggs from the nest.

I checked the nest yesterday and could see that the female was still sitting tight so hopefully next week the eggs will hatch and I'll be able to see how many youngsters we end up with.

I have also spotted a second pair of Linnets spending a lot of time in and around another bush in the garden but as yet I've not found a nest.

I has suspicions that a pair nested lasted year but I never found the nest or saw any youngsters. So it will be great if I have two pairs successfully breeding in the garden this year.

Apart from that I haven't seen any other signs of breeding in the garden. There have been plenty of young Starlings in the garden recently but there haven't bred here this year as we fitted a door to the old byre over the winter so they couldn't get in. There have also been lots of young House Sparrows and Greenfinches but again they must have bred elsewhere.

I am hoping to get a load of nest boxes built in the Autumn so that they can be put up and used as roosts over the winter and then hopefully for breeding next year.

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