BREEDING SUCCESS IN 2005.
As a result of the lack of rainfall in the Autumn the Reservoir was not filled until March 2005 instead of, as usual, by Christmas.This had a disasterous effect on the breeding success of Great Crested Grebe and Coots. With theexception of two pair of Coots allthe nests were swamped by the rising waters. However unless thisbecomes normal a single years failure is not critical At present there are some 100 Great Crested Grebe and over 300 Coot present at the Reservoir.
Those species which nest on the articifial islands were unaffected. This year the pair of Common Tern who normally nest on the 'Otter Holt' were unable to do so as it had previously been occupied for nesting purposes by a Canada Goose, they clearly tried on a number of occasions to either drive it off or nest alongside it. Eventually they gave up and nested on one end of Whiteside Island where they had to contend with species such as Cormorant and Heron. They produced two young which were seen on the
island for some time but were not seen to fly and it must be assumed that these youngsters perished.
Asecond pair nested on the other artificial island in Bayleaf Bay. They raised one young bird which lived an adventurous life.Whilst taking its first flight it was seen to flop into the Reservoir about 10 yards from its nest site, it survived for 24 hours either in the water or on the base of the raft before gaining enough strength to take off and fly back to the nest site. Afterwards it was seen for some weeks flying around the Reservoir with its parents.
TERN RAFT IN BAYLEAF BAY
A pair of Nightingales nested in brambles between the road and the Cuckoo field. This is the first time for many years that this has happened, it is not known whether this pair were successful but as one or two adult birds were seen for an extended period of almost two months and the pair were seen to be giving 'distraction displays to deter Species such as Jays, Magpies and Crows it must be assumed that a degree of success was incurred.
The nestbox monitoring team reported the following figures:-
Species Boxes monitored Eggs laid Estimated young fledged
Blue Tit 27 275 197
Great Tit 6 60 32
Marsh Tit 1 8 8
Kestral 1 5 2
Mandarin 2 16 9
Jackdaw 7 24 12
Stock Dove 6 23 10
In addition to those shown above a female Mandarin Duck was seen swimming ¬ross the new scrape followed by three large juveniles.
|MANDARIN WITH 3 YOUNG CROSSING THE NEW SCRAPE|
Other species known to have nested include the following:-
Little Grebe(at least two young seen). Mallard(probable 40/50 originally but many losses)
Moorhen(a few young seen) Woodpigeon
Green Woodpecker Great Spotted Woodpecker Swallow House Martin
Grey Wagtail(at least two young) Pied Wagtail(probably 40/50 young)
Lesser Whitethroat(at least one brood
raised in a nest in the Oast Bay)
Whitethroat Garden Warbler
Long-tailed Tit Nuthatch
Jackdaw Carrion Crow
With nest sites scattered around the Reservoir it is not possible to say with certainty exactly how many young of each pecies were produced.
With regard to Heron nests the nestbox monitoring team reported a total of 23 nests of which at least 14(probably more) were definately being used. 43 egg shells had been cast from the nests, a habit of this species, and 1 dead young was found. There is some evidence of the colony expanding as 3 of the nests were in an area not previously used.