30 April 2014

Nesting day and inland Ravens

Today was a day for checking various nests and it turned out to be a pretty varied one! En route to the cliffs we checked up on or Mute Swan nest at Helston Boating Lake, which is now up to a full clutch of five eggs. A second nest has also sprung up and a bit of gentle persuasion of the sitting parent to lift her bum revealed three eggs.

This was followed by our regular check of Rinsey Cliffs, where a few more Shags and Herring Gulls had completed clutches, and then onto a few Barn Owl boxes. Three of those checked had birds in: a lone male, a regular female on three eggs and a new female on five eggs. One site was unoccupied (as it was last year), but the ivy around the box produced a Song Thrush on five eggs!

The highlight though was a corvid hotspot found by local nester Simon Taylor (see his nesting blog here). This inland site (a couple of old engine houses) has a few pairs of Jackdaw, a Magpie on eggs and perhaps two Raven nests.

Raven nest somewhere at the top of this engine house!
It was never going to be easy to see what was in the nest, but a bit of cobbling together gave us a mirror on a stick, lashed to an extension pole, on top of a ladder! Sadly despite the effort we still couldn't make out what was in the nest, so the only thing for it was to retire and find a suitable spot to get the 'scope out...

Heath Robinson method of nest-checking
Luckily we could just about see through one of the old windows and into the nest, which was home to three whopping Raven chicks looking pretty close to fledging. Now we know about this site, it's one Simon will monitor next spring, so watch this space.

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