100 Nest Box Challenge: Linn Park Event

When I first launched my challenge 11 weeks ago, I’d planned to hold an event in my local park (Linn Park) to promote National Nest Box week (14 – 21 February). With the support of The Friends of Linn Park (FoLP), Glasgow City Council Ranger Service and the Glasgow RSPB Group we held an event on Saturday 17 February where members of the public could find out more about the birds that live in the park as well as having the chance to buy a box for their own garden or sponsor one that would be put up in the park.

Gazebo (photo credit: George Wilson)

In the lead-up to the event we had already secured support for 12 boxes for the park and it was decided part of the day would include putting up these boxes at pre-selected sites.

On Saturday morning I was really excited at the prospect of finally reaching my target of selling 100 boxes. However, when we first arrived it was absolutely pouring with rain and we thought we might need to reschedule. Fortunately after about half an hour the sun came out and we set up the gazebo with dedicated tables for the nest boxes for sale and information about the wildlife in the park. RSPB Glasgow also set up a stall to promote their work as well.

Photo Credit: Gary Linstead

With the gazebo set up, we headed off to install the 12 park boxes with the assistance of some FoLP members, volunteers on the day and Gary Linstead from Glasgow City Council Ranger Service. Unfortunately we hit a problem early on. The format for the nest box location co-ordinates, which had been selected based on a survey carried out in 2015, didn’t appear to be compatible with the GPS trackers on our phones! Fortunately, Aidan McCormick from my bird ringing group (Clyde Ringing Group) had come along to support the event and his phone was the only one which had a compatible app that allowed us to find where we needed to go!

George up ladder (photo credit: Gary Linstead)

Once we got that problem sorted we spent about 2 hours siting the boxes in a variety of locations in the park. The 12 boxes put up so far will be monitored this nesting season by me and the FoLP team. Box sponsors will be sent updates on what bird species are using their box. This gives an opportunity for people to support wildlife in the park and keep up-to-date with how their support is making a difference to the birds present.

About halfway through putting up the boxes I left to help with a litter pick activity and arrived back to the gazebo just in time to personally hand-over my 100th box to a member of the RSPB who had attended the event. After completing my litter pick I re-joined the group to help put up the final three boxes in the woods.

Me and Neil from RSPB Glasgow group (photo credit: Geroge Wilson)
Me up ladder (photo credit: George Wilson)

The day was a huge success and we sold all the remaining boxes which, with additional donations, took the overall total from nest box sales since I started my challenge up to above £1000. I will be sending out cheques to the BTO, RSPB and SWT shortly for their share of the funds raised. Due to the success of the event we have decided to hold a further event later in the year to put up other sponsored boxes in time for the 2019 nesting season.

Thanks to everyone for their help and support for my challenge! It’s been hard work spending about 7 hours every weekend building the boxes, but it’s been so worth it! I’d like to say a special ‘thank you’ to the BTO, RSPB and SWT who have all been brilliant in promoting my challenge via Social Media as well as supporting me at a number of local events.

Next week I will be returning to my local Primary School as part of my local outreach initiative to give a talk about my nest box challenge, wildlife interests and to donate 2 boxes for their wildlife garden. Hopefully it might inspire some other local children to get involved with the nature on their doorstep.

My 100 Nest Box Challenge

Why am I doing this?

During 2017 I visited many fantastic wildlife reserves across the UK as well as taking part in the BTO Bird Camp in May.  Inspired by my experiences, I decided I wanted to give something back to some of the charities that do such great conservation work. So ……. the 100 Nest Box Challenge was born! Continue reading My 100 Nest Box Challenge

Blog #17 – UK Fungus Day

Its UK Fungus day! I just had to write a blog. The UK has over 15,000 different species of wild fungi. Personally I think that is really cool but when some people they hear the word ‘Fungus’ they think it’s disgusting. Really, it’s incredible and very important to our Ecosystem. We also eat various mushrooms.

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Blog #16 – Northumberland & The Farne Islands

Two weekends ago I met up with Louis Driver to go to the Farne Islands to film the artic terns and other sea birds on the island. It was the first time we’d managed to meet up since the BTO Bird Camp in May. The weekend was a ‘gift’ from my parents for my birthday – they knew they couldn’t go wrong with a weekend away watching wildlife in Northumberland, where my mum spent a number of years living while her dad worked at RAF Boulmer.

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Blog #14 – BTO Bird Camp

At the beginning of the year a number of young people, including myself, were selected to go the BTO Bird Camp 2017 kindly funded by the Cameron Bespolka Trust. The camp is aimed at young people and getting them more involved with birds and nature. It gives the participants access to experiences that they may not otherwise normally get to do and allow them to get closer to nature.

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Blog #13 – Over 500

In the middle of March the frogs laid their clumps of spawn which was quite amazing to see in my fish pond but I knew it wouldn’t last long when the tadpoles hatched before the fish gobbled them ALL up!

It was 2 years ago that I made a small frog pond up the back of the garden in an old tub which I put in the ground. Then the year after we had lots of tadpoles which I transferred into it. Then I realized that it would not be big enough so I made a frog pond covering 1 and a half metres long and a metre deep. There was also a shallow side for the frogs to spawn.

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Blog #11 – A Small World

It was a Friday and sunny day so I decided to head down to my local patch (Greenbank Gardens in Clarkston, Glasgow) for a bit of nest recording.

The time I spent there was really worth it as in a couple of hours I managed to find the following nests: 5 blue tit, 1 bullfinch, 4 wren, 1 robin (with 4 eggs), 1 blackcap (building) and 7 blackbird (at different stages). The song thrushes were also out collecting worms in the main grassy area. First they would spear a worm with their beaks before shaking off the dirt and finally swallowing them whole: it was amazing to watch!

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Blog #10 – Easter Holiday Week 1

The Easter holidays were nearly here, just a week to go! It was my first bird ringing session with Iain Livingston at Cathkin Marshes Nature Reserve near Glasgow.

I arrived there and met Iain, Jim Douglas (the Reserve Warden) and a number of other volunteers. Iain explained what the drill was for using the net; we had to drag it across sections of the bog before pushing down the edges every so often and walking over it carefully hoping to flush an elusive Jack Snipe or two!

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Glasgow based amateuar nature photographer. Here is a selection of wildlife photos I have taken. Please enjoy my gallery!