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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Bird Box Survey

A survey was carried out this morning to check how many nests had been built in the boxes erected last year during the spring and summer on the Old Railway Line - Route 54 - at Etwall.
Les Sims, John Huskins also participated in the survey on this cool and foggy morning.
We were disappointed with the results as there appear to be a large number of eggs not hatched and corpses left in the bird boxes.  There is a strong possibility that some of them could have been left over from last year as during August  2011, we only looked into the boxes and did not clean them out, which we have now done.

Here is a photograph of one of the nests, beautifully edged with sheep's wool no doubt collected from the barbed wire surrounding a nearby field.
One thought we had was lack of insects for feeding due to the very wet conditions we have encountered this year.  Another possibility could be the presence of a male sparrow hawk seen frequently along the route of the Old Railway Line.
Interesting  though, we discovered two of the bird boxes were a winter residence to mice, much to the surprise and shock to Les to discover mice jumping over his hand and diving to the ground below - the mice not Les.

We can only summarize that 50% of the bird boxes were successfully occupied and hopefully fledged which is lower than last year's estimated figure.

Les and John also carried out a survey of the Mickleover Bird Boxes erected earlier this year and again, they established that half of them have nests built.

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