Wednesday, 26 February 2014


 Replaced the old rotten kestrel nestbox at the back of the park's grazing fields with this smart new one on a sunny springlike Wednesday 26th with the help of Andy Field. This one has been covered in roofing felt to make it last longer. Obviously it is going to smell different, it will look clean inside and it might appear a bit too new.

However the great news already today was the male kestrel was seen hopping inside just before dusk, just to have brief peek before flying off. Hopefully he'll come back with his mate and use it for nesting.

The new box design was the same design as the previous one which ended up being used by the kestrels for the last five years. Last summer four chicks successfully fledged which was their best year. The old box had probably been up in the tree for about ten years in total.

 The kestrels have this great view from their box, looking over the flooded field and beyond over the seawall and out to sea. They have a bird's eye view of all the waders and wildfowl on these pools.

Seen in the fields on Wednesday were 400 brent geese, 500 wigeon, 200 teal, 100 black-tailed godwits, 25 shelduck, 5 snipe and 2 little egrets. Six stock doves were perched in the tree at the end of the afternoon.
In the Colne two pairs of red-breasted mergansers flew out of the river at the end of the day.
Phil Carter reported seeing a water rail at the back of the fields during the morning.

On Tuesday late in the afternoon a merlin flew over the fields, circled round a couple of times, scaring lots of waders and ducks and then it flew low along the back of the fields and perched up in the kestrel tree. No doubt the merlin was able to enjoy this view in the picture above.

As the ladder was going to be out in the fields, the opportunity was made to put up this little owl box. It's located on an alder tree along the hedgeline below the hide, visible from the hide but off to the left. While the box was being erected early in the afternoon, at least one little owl could be heard calling from a hedgeline two fields to the north.

On the nearby pond 16 tufted duck and at least one pochard were seen while the previous day the high number of 24 tufted ducks were joined by 3 pochard. Ten pied wagtails flew west over the pond at dusk on Tuesday heading to their roost.

Some of the goat willow trees near the pond were buzzing with the sound of honey bees and bumble bees around the flowering yellow catkins. The sun shone throughout most of Wednesday and two adders were seen at the country park.

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