Our Birdcams

We have two nest boxes fitted with cameras. Our original B&W birdcam box was set up outside the Infant classroom in March 2007; this was replaced by the new Colour Infant Birdcam box in 2014. Another Colour Birdcam box was installed round the back of the school, outside the kitchen, in 2008. Still images are uploaded to the birdcam pages around every 10 seconds.

We Have Chicks!

The Blue tits in the colour birdcam box near the kitchen appear to have given up building their nest and the camera went offline on May 1st. However, today I spotted Blue tits making frequent visits to our other birdcam box outside the Infant classroom. I swapped the live feed over to the other box to find that we have chicks!

Click here for the live feed (a new snapshot is taken approximately every 10s).

I think I’ve counted 7 beaks, how many can you spot? How old do you think they are? (Have a look at pictures of previous broods to help you make your guess). How many times do they get fed over a 15 minute period?

Nesting Season 2020

Even though we can’t enjoy the school grounds at the moment, the birds are making the most of the peace and quiet! I’ve managed to get the Colour Birdcam back online and there appears to have been some activity. Fingers-crossed we get some nesting birds this year and the birdcam stays online!

Please leave a comment on this post if you spot anything.

Other great webcams to keep an eye on are the Nottingham Trent University Peregrine webcam and the Rutland Water Osprey webcams. Both currently have nesting birds to watch.

Nature where you are – 2020

While we are all having to stay home, why not keep a nature diary to record what you see in your garden or out of the window. It could include what wildflowers are flowering, trees that are beginning to bud or come into leaf. What birds have you seen and if any of them are nesting in your garden? A useful website for identifying things you have seen is the NatureSpot website.

Orange-tip Butterfly

Orange-tip Butterfly

I’ve already seen the first butterflies of the year in my garden, Small Tortoiseshells, Brimstone and Peacock. These butterflies will be ones that are coming out of their winter hibernation, you may also see the lovely Comma butterfly. Usually the first species to emerge from a chrysalis (early April) is the Orange-tip butterfly, a real sign that Spring has arrived! If you want to find out more about butterflies, head over to the Butterfly Conservation website. You could also use their irecord app to record your sightings.

Let us know what you have seen by leaving a comment on this post. We would also love to see your photos. Will you be the first to see an Orange-tip butterfly this year!?

Moth Trapping – July 14th 2019

A moth trap was set up in the school garden on the evening of July 14th and emptied by Peregrine Class the following Morning. We trapped 50 moths of 20 different species. We identified the following 17 species: 10 Common Footman, 2 Willow Beauty, 2 Scalloped Oak, 10 Uncertain agg., 2 Riband Wave, 1 Acleris forsskaleana, 3 Muslin Footman, 1 Flame Carpet, 1 Burnished Brass, 4 Large Yellow Underwing, 7 Heart and Dart, 5 Common Rustic agg., 1 Dark Arches, 1 Mottled Rustic, 2 Smoky Wainscot, 1 Clay, 1 Olive Pearl.

Worm Detectives!

This year BBC Springwatch teamed up with the British Trust for Ornithology and the Open University for their biggest citizen science project ever – Gardenwatch. The aim of this project is to map the resources available for wildlife in gardens up and down the country, and find out which wild visitors they attract.The project also wants to find out what our gardens are lacking and how we can improve them for nature. 

So far, Peregrine Class (with help from Year 5) have completed 2 of the 4 missions, “Beyond the Backdoor” and “Worm Detective”. There’s still time to take part in Gardenwatch for your own gardens, results need to be submitted by the end of June. To find out more, visit the Gardenwatch webpage.

We recorded data for two patches and averaged our results which are shown below.

Nesting -2019

Over the last couple of weeks, birds have started nesting in our colourcam box around the back of the school. We haven’t spotted which birds they are yet but the nest keeps growing! Let us know what you spot in the comments to this post.

4th April Colourcam box

Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2019

Over the last couple of weeks, the children have been taking part in the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch. Each class counted the number birds of each species visiting the school grounds for an hour. Over the three sessions a total of 139 birds were seen and 21 different species. On the snowy days, we were lucky to see some winter thrushes including a Fieldfare and a flock of Redwings. As usual, our resident  Bullfinches put in a good showing and a few children were lucky to see a couple of Siskins feeding on the Alder cones in the wooded area.

Bird Box Clear out

Thank you Mr Marriot for helping to clear out the school’s bird boxes today. Three of the seven boxes cleared out had full nests in and evidence of having had chicks in them. These were the car park box, the kitchen colour birdcam box and the Silver Birch box in the corner of the school field. Other boxes had droppings in them left by roosting birds.

Growing up!

The first chick hatched at lunchtime on 14th May and continued hatching until the following day. Now, two weeks on, we can see clearly that there are 10 chicks with clear Blue tit markings and colouring on their feathers. The nights are warmer and the chicks are big enough to keep themselves warm without being brooded by an adult. The chicks are due to fledge in about a weeks time, let’s hope they wait until we get back to school next Monday!

Incubation commences

The female has continued to lay an egg every day since the 23rd April, when one egg was seen. It is hard to see how many eggs there are because they are mostly covered up during the day and the female has been roosting in the box at night. However, we calculate there must be around 10, which is probably the complete clutch as the Blue tits appear to have started incubating the eggs today (May 2nd).

The Battle of the Species!

The Blue tits have completed their nest and at least one egg has been laid. However, since yesterday, a wasp has started building a nest on the camera lens. We removed the residue from the lens this morning but it returned to recommence building during the day. The Blue tits also continued to visiting the nest, giving our first glimpse of an egg. After school, we managed to catch and dispose of the wasp. We will have to wait and see whether the Blue tits win the battle and continue to lay their eggs.

Moth Trapping 18th April 2018

The moth trap was set up on the night of 18th April and emptied the following morning by Kingfisher Class. Temperatures had reached 23ºC on the 18th and dropped to 11ºC during the night.

67 moths of 15 different species were recorded, 4 of which were new species for the school garden (shown in bold).

Small Quaker 3, Early Grey 4, Satellite 3, Clouded Drab 7, Common Quaker 23, Hebrew Character 15, Engrailed 1, Water Carpet 2, Twin-spotted Quaker 1, Brindled Beauty 1, Diurna fagella 1, Pine Beauty 1, Brindled Pug 1, Pale Pinion 1, Chestnut 3.