Guest blog – Birdlife 5 – A good year for the birds

guest-blogger (Small)Steve Carrow owns the beautiful Nuthatch Cottage. The stunning gardens are a haven for bird life. Steve monitors the bird life for the British Trust for Ornithology and he is now doing a regular guest blog for us.  This is the fourth post of the series.


As the breeding season draws to an end we can look back on a successful time for our boxes. We had 28 boxes up, the most ever, so perhaps not surprisingly we had as many nests as ever, 16. Actually the percentage used was below most years, with the number of chicks fledged was 78 from 109 eggs laid.
This total was bettered back in 2008 when we had 87 from only 12 nests. Back then there were 10 blue tits nests, but following the disaster of 2009 when no blue tits fledged from 9 nests, we haven’t had over 6 blue tits nest in our boxes. On the bright side the other bird species have moved in and for the last 2 years we have had 5 different species in the boxes, with the pied flycatchers making up 5 nests.
We have regularly seen a spotted flycatcher with mouthfuls of insects flying from the electric cable to a ledge above our toilet window, also saw a wren building a nest in one of the clematis plants in the garden.
Still hear swallow chicks up in the nests in the barn.
Should be a good autumn for the resident birds with the hedgerows overflowing with sloes and hawthorn. I’ve not seen so many hazelnuts before and although the squirrels have already started to take them, there should be plenty to pick.
Jays are taking the wild plums from our garden hedge.
Birds at Nuthatch Cottage WSBC0025
So much going on.

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