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 every 10-15 seconds.

Bumper Harvest 2017

When we returned to school in September, we were pleased to find some fruit and vegetables had grown well over the summer. The Buddleia, Ice Plant and other plants were in full flower and attracted large numbers of insects especially Red Admiral Butterflies. On one day we counted 24 Red Admirals! Sue, our cook, also picked some of the flowering herbs and used them to make mini flower baskets using a carefully peeled orange.

Moth trapping 6th April 2017

The moth trap was set up on the first time this year on the evening of 6th April and emptied the following morning. Mr Marriot kindly covered up the trap when he arrived in the morning so that our resident rooks couldn’t breakfast on our catch!

Nine moths of four different species were trapped, two of which were new species (shown in bold) for the school grounds:

1 Early Grey, 2 Clouded Drab, 5 Hebrew Character, 1 Shoulder Stripe.


Onions Galore!

Four members from Peregrine Class planted around 150 onions, some red and some white. We hope that Sue will cook us some delicious meals with them!

The Big Tidy UP!

Thank you Peregrine Class for all your hard work this afternoon chopping back the Buddleia bushes, cutting back old flowering stems in the herb garden, sweeping up leaves and harvesting the last of the leeks and beetroot.


Big Schools Birdwatch 2017 – The Results!

This year’s RSPB Big School’s Birdwatch was carried during January and February. We have taken part in this national survey for the last nine years. Each class completed one survey with all children having the opportunity to take part. The surveys lasted one hour during which time we counted the maximum number of each species seen together (i.e. not individual visits).

This year we counted 181 birds over 3 surveys and recorded 19 different species.

Thank you to Peregrine Class for inputting all the data into an Excel spreadsheet and generating a bar chart showing the results.

The number of birds and species was slightly down this year and disappointingly, it was the first year that Tree Sparrows weren’t recorded. However, good numbers of Bullfinch were recorded and we were also treated to fly overs from a Buzzard and a Kestrel.


RSPB Bio Blitz 2016

On September 15th, members of the RSPB visited to work with the children to investigate the wide variety of flora and fauna in the school grounds. Each class worked on a range of activities including bird watching, mini beast hunting and the identification of trees. Older children have since uploaded some of the wildlife photos taken to our ispot account as record of what we saw or for identification purposes. Year 6 children also emptied and recorded moths which were caught in the moth trap set up the night before.

Moth Trapping – October 19th 2016

The moth trap was set up on the evening of October 19th. A fairly chilly night followed, with a moon just past full, so only one moth was found in the trap in the morning. However, the Dark Sword-grass moth was a new species for the garden. In addition, there were several crane flies and a large red ichneumon wasp.

Moth Night June 9th 2016

This year’s annual celebration of moth recording in the UK, Moth Night, took place over three nights (9th-11th June). We put a moth trap out in the school’s Learning Garden for the Thursday night (9th June) and Year 3 children emptied the trap the following morning. The evening and night had been quite warm (minimum temperature 15ºC) so we were rewarded with a good catch; forty-five moths were trapped and twenty-one different species identified. The children entered the results on the Moth Night web site (http://www.mothnight.info).

Entering data on Moth Night website

Entering data on the Moth Night website

Small Clouded Brindle 1, Pale Tussock 3, Diamond-back Moth 10, Brown Silver-line 1, Small Phoenix 1, Silver-ground Carpet 1, Silver Y 1, Grass Rivulet 1, Small Square-spot 1, Flame 1, Common Carpet 2, White Ermine 2, Ingrailed Clay 2, Water Carpet 1, Middle-barred Minor 3, Beautiful Golden Y 1, Bee Moth 3, Common Pug 1, Green Carpet 3, Common Swift 5 and Meadow Grey 1. We also caught 2 big Black Sexton Beetles.

Moth Trapping 5-6th June

I set up a moth trap, by the hide in our Learning Garden, on the evening of 5th June and a couple of children helped me record the moths trapped during Monday break-time. Normally we would empty the trap much earlier so any moths that had settled outside the trap will have flown off. We found 8 different species of moth:

2 Bee Moths, 1 Pale Tussock, 1 Water Carpet, 1 Common Swift, 1 Silver-ground Carpet, 2 White Ermine, 1 Flame Carpet, 1 Diamond-back Moth.  In addition, I also showed the children a moth I had caught the previous night at Pleasley Pit, a Peach Blossom.

Blue Tits Fledge

Although we didn’t have any nesting birds in either of our two bird boxes with cameras, at least three other boxes are known to have had Blue Tit chicks in them. Adult birds were seen going into the Car Park box and one of the Silver Birch boxes with food before half term, at the end of May, but both boxes were empty by the time we returned to school on 6th June. Adult Blue Tits were seen taking food to some very noisy chicks in the box by the backdoor on Sunday evening, 5th June. By Monday morning, only one chick could be heard calling from the box and this too had fledged by breaktime.

Early Bird Box Visitors

The school bird boxes were cleaned out at the beginning of the year, thank you Mr Marriot! It was a disappointing year last year with no birds nesting in our birdcam boxes for the first time in 7 years. However, full nests were found in the Car Park box (Blue tits) and all three compartments of one of the sparrow terraces. Some of the boxes had evidence of roosting birds.

The camera in the colour birdcam box has been left on for the Easter holidays so leave comments if you spot any visitors.

Roosting bird

Roosting bird – 25th March