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.

Birds are Nesting!

It’s been a few years since birds have nested in our bird boxes which are fitted with cameras. Today, we switched on the camera in the box near the school kitchen and spotted two Blue tits visiting the box with nesting material. Keep watching the colour birdcam box and let us know what you see.

First Moth Trapping of the Year – April 9th 2018

Peregrine Class identifying moths

The moth trap was set up by the hide on the night of April 8th, 2018 and was emptied by Peregrine Class the following morning. Mr Marriot arrived early and potted up any moths on the outside of the trap before our resident nesting Rooks could eat them! Our eagle-eyed children still managed to spot some he missed, they were very well camouflaged! 

Eleven different species of moth were identified and a total of 69 moths were counted. Five were new species for the school garden (listed in bold below).

Early Grey 3, Hebrew Character 37, Shoulder Stripe 3, Clouded Drab 9, Small Quaker 6, Common Quaker 4, Satellite Moth 1, Engrailed 1, March Tubic (Diurnea fagella) 2, Early Tooth-striped 1, Mottled Grey 1.

Big Schools Birdwatch 2018

After Christmas, the whole  school took part in the Big Schools Birdwatch. The most common bird was the Rook, with just under 50 sightings. We were also lucky to see lots of the glamorous Bullfinch.  This year we saw a few rare birds; the Siskin and the Redwing! But unfortunately, for the first time ever, we had no luck in spotting a Tree Sparrow. A total of 19 different species of birds were seen.

Report by  LK and BP Year 4

  Numbers seen
Species 19/01/2018 02/02/2018 02/02/2018
Blackbird 2 3 1
Blue tit 4 1 1
Bullfinch 10 9 8
Chaffinch 2 5 1
Collared dove 1 2 2
Feral pigeon 0 0 1
Goldfinch 3 5 2
Great tit 1 0 0
Greenfinch 0 1 1
House sparrow 4 2 0
Jackdaw 0 0 6
Longtailed tit 0 0 6
Magpie 1 1 4
Redwing 0 1 0
Robin 0 1 2
Rook 6 18 25
Siskin 0 3 3
Woodpigeon 3 3 5
Wren 1 0 0
Total number of birds: 38 55 68
Total species 12 14 15

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.