Mystery nest

Riversearch December 2015

Once again I’d left my Riversearch survey til the last moment, so ended up squeezing it into my busy Christmas Eve. (I did get questioned by a passerby as to why I was out ‘working’ on Christmas Eve, who couldn’t quite believe that was how I choose to spend my leisure time). The weather wasn’t very tempting for a riverside stroll that morning. But rain is no excuse to put off a Riversearch survey – in fact, it may be better, as it allows you to see any runoff from fields, roads and pipes. So I donned my wellies and headed out. By the time I got out there, the rain had eased off somewhat – there were even glimpses of blue sky.

Like the rest of the country, we’ve had quite a lot of rain lately. Thankfully we’ve escaped the flooding other areas had. While the ground was boggy and the water level high, at least I could walk through the meadow – exactly two years ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that, as it was completely submerged.

Winter is always a good time to do the survey for my stretch – the nettles, himalayan balsam and other plants have died back enough to allow me to see a lot more of the river bank than usual. The main finding of interest was pollution coming from a few of the pipes in the riverbank. There was quite a lot of white foam on the river, building up in places, but that seemed to be coming from further upstream. I don’t know what it was, but definitely something to report.

Aside from that, the only other notable finding was a mystery nest, lodged a couple of feet up a sapling on the riverbank. Any ideas what might have made that?

Mystery nest
Who’d live in a nest like this?
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6 thoughts on “Riversearch December 2015”

    1. Thanks – it could well be, as I saw long-tailed tits a bit further downriver. Do they nest that low, or is it likely that the nest has been blown down and then got stuck in the sapling?

    1. Thanks. I’ve only ever seen wrens nests in dormouse boxes, where they’re quite a lot bigger, filling the whole box (and look so cosy). I’ve not come across one not in a cavity before.
      Do you think it’s blown down from its original place, or was it built there?

      1. Well it’s difficult to be sure what species exactly but the use of moss and the size suggests wren – the male builds about 6-8 nests, not all of which are used. Doesn’t look to me like it was built in those saplings – possibly been blown or even carried by floodwater.

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