29 July 2019
So 2019 season has come to an end today. I will always remember this season due to such a successful breeding season. I managed to smash my Pied Flycatcher nest numbers by smashing 2017`s record of 26 nests. This season I had 36 full Pied Fly nests all succeeding by raising a clutch of chicks. I also had 2 Redstart nests and again both pairs successful in raising a clutch. It all fell into place nicely with the weather being perfect and plenty of male and female returning. The highlight of my 2019 season was the success of my Barn Owl nest box. Last year 3 Barn Owl chicks were successfully raised and I was hoping for the same this year. Well as you can see in the images below this amazing pair of Barn Owls have managed to raise 3 very healthy chicks. There was four chicks at one stage but the 4th chick was very small and was probably eaten by his bigger siblings. Below you can see me proudly presenting my chicks and all were ringed by my good friend Steve Roberts.
21 July 2019
Checked on one of my Barn Owl nest boxes today. Last time I checked about 5 weeks ago there was one egg present so I`ve given the hen plenty of time to finish her clutch before checking on her again.
We have to be very careful with Barn Owls frequent disturbance could end with disaster. They can abandon eggs and sometimes chicks although it would take frequent disturbance for a hen to abandon her chicks but it has been known. It`s taken me ten years to get Barn Owl`s back breeding in this valley and I have been successful for three years in a row.
10 July 2019
This unfortunate Greater Spotted Woodpecker Fledgling flew straight into a downstairs window and just fell to the floor. Thankfully there were no injuries just a stunned inexperienced bird. I picked him up and placed him a shaded area under a tree and within half an hour he regained his composure and flew back to the trees.
5 July 2019
Below is an image of a Tree Creepers nest with 4 chicks present. I discovered this when out and about monitoring on one of my nest box sites. I had my friend Cliff Day with me who is a amateur photographer. He had said to me in the car as we were driving to the site about finding Tree Creepers very elusive and hard to photograph due to their camouflage. Well I had that in the back of mind so was looking out for a nest site whilst monitoring. Luckily I managed to find this very precarious nest hid behind a loose piece of bark. Thanks to Cliff for some really good close up images of the nest and adult bird feeding the chicks..
Below left Female Greater Spotted Woodpecker right Song Thrush
4 July 2019
It was an absolute honour to be awarded with the Pride of Gwent Award for my services to conservation work. Of course it`s always so rewarding to receive any award for your work but I still have no idea who nominated me in the first place. Everyone I have asked have denied it.
3 July 2019
As long as I have materials available I will always make new nest boxes. I do this for two reasons one being because of the adverse weather conditions some of these nest boxes are subject to can be a problem So some will need replacing every year. Secondly I always find or get invited to new grounds although I am always on the lookout for new ground so having new boxes made up and in store is always handy ready for myself and hopefully some volunteers to get cracking and erecting usually through Autumn and winter. We also clean out boxes while we are at it.
2 July 2019
Back in early Spring I made this triangle Barn Owl nest box for one of my old School teachers and family friend Steve Roberts. Some of you may recognise Steve from Springwatch where he has appeared on several occasions. Not only is he best mates with Iolo Williams but he also Fixes the Cameras up trees and cliffs and find all the nests beforehand. so Steve is a very valuable member of the Springwatch team. It was an honour to present Steve with this Barn Owl nest box which is erect behind his house.
I hope these images above can show you my set up with regard to main pieces of equipment which help me speed up the process of constructing nest boxes. Left image shows my table saw which helps me rip down the sheets of OS board into what size I need. The right image shows my chop saw this basically cuts off lengths on wood. Both items of tool are mounted on transportable trolleys which makes it much easier to take out of my garage to set up outside but under my car port. Without these tools I would have to cut everything down by hand which is both a lengthy and time consuming exercise.