The 14th-21st February is National Nest Box Week! If you would like to receive an information pack with advice on nest boxes – making, buying, choosing a location, maintenance and reducing risk from predators then go to the BTO website (bto.org.uk) and on the front page you will see a link to NNBW. National Nest Box Week is all about putting up a nest box in your local area to help increase the number of suitable nesting spaces for birds.
Anyone can take part and you don’t have to get your box put up straight away. January is the latest I would recommend anyone clean out or maintain an existing nest box as you may find a bird has already taken up residence. Bird Protection Law permits the cleaning out of nests between 1 August and 31 January. Once you have a box up you can take part in the Nest Box Challenge. You can register online and you then record all the details, where it is located, how many eggs, how many chicks, etc. You don’t need a bird nesting in your box to be able to register. Sometimes it’s just as useful to find out what birds aren’t nesting then what birds are!
With all this talk of nest boxes, it really feels as if spring is on its way. Out on the reserve I was delighted to hear the unmistakable repetitive call of a song thrush, I heard the otters on the river a few days ago although wasn’t lucky enough to see them and I saw tiny buds appearing on the trees in our nursery. For me though, the real start to the year is when our seasonal staff appear, which is only a couple of weeks away!
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger
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