We are having quite a successful year in terms of nest box occupation – already 7 boxes have been or are being used. Nothing more exotic than Great Tits and Blue Tits but its a very positive start.
However, sadly the two Kestrel boxes and the Little Owl box stand resolutely empty. Also empty are the three boxes put onto poles round the older pond as part of the Tree Sparrow project. However, when we look inside we see this:
There were droppings in all three boxes and so maybe birds have been sheltering in the boxes during the winter?
Two of the adult birds using the boxes are wearing rings:
This is no doubt because we have a licensed bird ringer living near the meadows and Blue Tits and Great Tits don’t ever travel very far.
In fact, very excitingly, this coming Autumn this bird ringer is going to be using the meadows to set up his nets and do his ringing. He had a trial session a couple of weeks ago and, in three hours, caught a Blue Tit (maybe the one photographed above?) and two Whitethroats. I hope he wasn’t too demoralised. Here is a photo that he took of a male Whitethroat. Its a bird that spends the winter in scrubland in West Africa, just south of the Sahara. The Summer it is spending in the hedgerow alongside our meadows in East Kent.
Not much ringing is done during the breeding season but, come the Autumn, it will be a wonderful opportunity to see what migrants pass through here as they make their way south.