Combining birding, ringing, censusing, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, reptiles, plants, fresh air, fun

We have registered the group with the British Trust for Ornithology's Nest Record Scheme. Further information can be found at www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nrs. We will search East Kent for nesting birds and record their progress with the nest, how many eggs are laid, how many chicks hatch and the outcome of the birds' efforts. These aspects are all recorded on a card which includes habitat codes.

So far we have put up 485 nest boxes at 17 sites

We have boxes designed for the following species -

Barn Owl
Little Owl
Tawny Owl
Ring-necked Parakeet
Stock Dove
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
House Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail

Plus some Swallow and Collared Dove ledges. In addition we have two Hedgehog boxes in place and some bat boxes ready to go up. Busy times ahead.

​Hazel Dormouse - four of us are training for our HDM licence and aim to monitor 200 boxes
22/05/2015 To date we have collected the following nest record cards - Mute Swan 2, Mallard 4, Little Grebe 2, Moorhen 7, Coot 20, Stock Dove 1, Ring-necked Parakeet 6, Blackbird 5, Song Thrush 1, Mistle Thrush 1, Blue Tit 4, Great Tit 5, Reed Warbler 3 and Greenfinch 1; totalling 66. Here are some cute photos by John Pell, Liz Pell and Gill Adams -
Our first results, to the middle of April are as follows at Dover -
Mute Swan         3
Little Grebe       1
Moorhen             5
Coot                      16
Mistle Thrush   1
Wren                    3                                                                                                  Wren building (John Pell)       Grey Wagtail pair - we're searching! (Liz Pell)
At Quex Park we have begun to put up nest-boxes. In some cases, these have gone up a bit late in the year and may well not have any birds nesting in them. However, we checked 12 of the parakeet boxes on 23rd March and five of them had females inside and a further four had evidence of nesting material being added. We have a camera on a long wire which we use to examine the contents of the boxes and this seems to cause minimum disturbance. Photos below by John and Liz Pell
The first chicks from our nest-boxes. E1 female pops her head out and then flies to a nearby tree. She is Mum to two with full crops.
Some of the parakeet chicks at the end of April
The first seven are Ring-necked Parakeet chicks and the eighth is a Stock Dove chick. The latter is the heaviest and a week older than the oldest of the Parakeets. All of them have full crops indicating attentive parents.
To date (03/05/15) we are monitoring the following nests -  Little Grebe 2, Moorhen 8, Coot 18, Mute Swan 3, Stock Dove 1,  Ring-necked Parakeet 6, Mistle Thrush 1, Magpie1, Treecreeper 1, Wren 3, Great Tit 3, Blue Tit 1, Whitethroat 1.
Nest-boxes - up so far (03/05/15), Great Tit 4, House Sparrow 8, Ring-necked Parakeet 14,  Stock Dove 3, Kestrel 1, Tawny Owl 2, Little Owl 1 with many more piling up in a garden and workshop.