Snowdrops and Blackbirds - we are on the way!
Blackbirds and Robins starting to pair up.
Here in Shropshire we are in the West Midlands, (cold and wet) so on a recent trip to Cornwall it was a delight to see my first Daffodil head (not in flower at the time) I would imagine they are in flower by now down there. Our Snowdrops are up and starting to form their heads and there are buds on the bushes in the fruit cage. So it is that time of year when the whole cycle of life starts again, the blackbirds, robins and a few other hardy over winter birds will be finding mates and looking for nest sites.
Mid February sees the National Nest Box week, so we really are starting to gear up right now for the new season. We sold a lot of nest boxes over Christmas - not surprising really as they do make fantastic gifts. Now is the time to take a look around your garden to see if you have all the right habitats in place for the new season. Nest boxes for wild birds, Hedgehog houses, Dormouse Box, Bee homes, beneficial insect homes, predator deterrents
and so on.
Take a walk around your garden and see what you have, check the nest boxes are clean and ready to receive this years new inhabitants and there are no remnants from the previous occupiers. Check there are no signs of recent occupation (roosting birds still use nest boxes) and if you want to clean your nest box, either open it, or if not, tip it upside down and waft a dry paintbrush around inside it to remove dust and debris. Check the direction the entrance hole is facing, North East is best for us, but it may be slightly different where you are, if the box was not occupied last year then try to face it another direction. It is not time to check Dormouse and Hedgehog boxes,
they will probably still be occupied, and with the mild weather we are having may well not have taken in their main occupants yet for this winter, so best not to disturb them until well into the Spring.
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Check your garden for nest boxes and wildlife homes, but make sure they are not occupied before disturbing them.[/caption]