Today 4 septuagenarians, one carrying a 10 ft ladder, picked their way along a precipitate and thickly wooded hillside in the foothills of the Cambrian mountains. While others waved flags (today was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee) we looked for bird nest boxes put up at the end of winter and now hidden in the deep foliage of the Welsh rainforest. Bill and I were trying to help ring this year’s chicks.
A right of passage — to get a number before they leave the nest — for us to monitor what is going on and to make sure we are doing the best we can to help the local birdlife! Most of out boxes only went up this year so expectations were not high as Jan and Jon of the local Habitat Protection Group inspected the 12 boxes which were designed primarily to boost our population of pied flycatchers.
Two of the boxes revealed pied flycatchers, one with a record brood of 9 chicks. The total of 16 chicks in the first year exceeded our wildest dreams.
12 boxes yielded 48 chicks of which 24 were blue tits, 16 pied flycatchers and 8 great tits.
Thanks to the Habitat Protection Group for sharing their time, knowledge, expertise and for their patience and for giving us such a memorable jubilee.