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28 February 2021

Yesterday I made a really stupid decision to go out on my own to one of my main nest box sites. This site is extremely important to me as it produces numerous target species each year. It has been in the back of my mind for months knowing that most of the fifty nest boxes needed replacing and instead of waiting for one of my friends to assist me I decided to go solo.

The problem I have at the moment is I am awaiting a knee operation and I am not sure when this will happen due to this unfortunate situation we are all going through. Yesterday I really struggled to get around and if it were not for a good NHS knee brace that was given to me  then it would not of been possible. As stubborn as I am I knew work needed to be completed and I wasn't prepared to sit around.

This particular nest box site has about 30 nest boxes fitted at ladder height and I have had to wait for one of my friends to help by climbing the ladder to clean out the nest boxes. Thankfully my very good friend David Tew volunteered his Sunday to assist me. He managed to clean and check on about 100 nest boxes in total and for that I am extremely grateful. My mind is at ease now I know all my nest boxes have been cleaned out in preparation for this season.

Diolch yn fawr iawn Dai bach !!!

27 February 2021

Today I managed to get out to one of my main Pied Flycatcher sites. This particular site is very important to me because I have about eight pairs of Pied Fly and up to six pairs of Redstart return every year to raise a clutch. A large number of my nest boxes needed replacement so I decided to replace all fifty of them and saved as many old ones to be refurbished during the summer months. These will then be used for the 2022 season after a few coated of paint and maybe replacement number plates.

25 February 2021

Today Steve Roberts and I along with Steve's dog Buster managed to erect two Barn Owl nest boxes and 1 Little Owl nest box. All three nest boxes are situated in open countryside and each on huge established Welsh oak trees. I do love my Welsh Oaks and often stop my 4x4 when I'm out and about just to take a closer look. We are blessed with oaks in Gwent with plenty of open countryside.

16 February 2021

Not that much to report on only the fact I've continued the the Barn Owl theme by erecting a few more Barn Owl nest boxes. Below is an image of Alex Powell a lovely gentleman from my village. Alex recently got in touch via facebook and explained that he loves what I have been doing and that he would like to offer his services as a volunteer. Alex has assisted me in erecting 4 Barn Owl nest boxes and I must say he really is a great help. Not bothered about a bit of dirt on his hands and really confident up a ladder at a height of 10 to 14 foot. He has become a valuable member of my awesome team

10 February 2021

I've mentioned in previous posts that Barn Owls are my top target species. Last year I managed to attract three pairs of Barn Owls and between the three pairs they managed to produce eight chicks to adulthood. Since last season I and my fantastic group of volunteers have managed to erect another eight nest boxes. My good friend Steve Roberts was good enough to agree to ring all the chicks last season and I have now decided to get my ringers licence in order for me to ring my own chicks. Hopefully the offspring of last season have established their own territories and paired up and are preparing for this seasons breeding phase. It would be amazing and so rewarding to see if one of the offspring actually takes up residence in another nearby nest box I have put in place. Only time will tell I guess and I shall be continuing with my Barn Owl projects providing I can get materials to continue to build the nest boxes.

6 February 2021

This year I have decided to concentrate on Little Owls although my main focus will still be with Pied Flycatchers and Barn Owls. I have constructed 10 Little Owl nest boxes and when I'm out erecting Barn Owl nest boxes I usually add a little nest box to erect also. With Little Owl nest boxes I generally avoid woodlands and opt for a single tree in a field or hedgerow. I do this in order to deter Grey Squirrels from taking over the nest box. The entrance hole for a little Owl nest box is a perfect diameter for a Grey Squirrel so many of the nest boxes do get taken. Jackdaws are another species who will take over a Little Owl nest box again with the diameter of the hole perfect for them. In order to deter Jackdaws I usually make an L shape tunnel inside the nest box. This will prevent the Jackdaw pair from taking in their favoured nesting material. They only use twigs to build their nest which is why a L shape entrance is a must.

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