Wednesday 1 June 2022

Summer is here for our breeding birds - May 2022

Birds don't wait until our summer to breed and some of our species, like pigeons and cormorants, can start laying as early as January!

Our Blue Tits aren't as early as those species but do get a head start on returning migrants by laying from the end of April and fledging young as early as May. That gives us some busy sessions checking boxes and (digitally) filling out nest record cards to contribute to the national scheme.

We have a few boxes at a nature reserve, just outside Maidenhead. These boxes have had a good year, with all being occupied.

Blue Tit box-checking for the annual national survey

One of our boxes had the unwelcome attention of a Grey squirrel so we added protection to the front of the box to keep the chicks safe.

A second front was added to this box to stop squirrels chewing their way through to the nest

Sessions at Befont produced an interesting Reed Warbler which we'd ringed as an adult in 2014 making this bird at least eight years old and eight round-trips between Bedfont and Africa!

We ran three sessions at Wraysbury to continue our Constant Effort Site programme. Numbers were down compared with last year and we will have to await the national report to see how the site has faired compared with the broader picture.

Bedfont had two other interesting recoveries: a Cetti's Warbler ringed in Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve last October. And a Bedfont colour-ringed, in 2019, Common Tern chick was seen down in  Dorset this May.

Common Tern & Cetti’s Warbler Bedfont recoveries mapped