Blog Post: Ribble Roundup – National Nestbox Week – Creeping Spring – More Weather – Hiding in Hides

Nestbox Week at RDC Half term nestbox building was a great success, celebrating National Nestbox Week in style. The kits provided by Marshside and Presfield School were fabulous and it was inspiring to see the enthusiasm of the children. It was great to see so many children able and willing to use tools such as screwdrivers and hammers and be given the opportunity to do so. This was something I was passionate about when I worked in the Early Years sector, providing a wood work bench in the setting, so it was encouraging to witness such skilled tool use. Fingers crossed for successful habitation this year and a fully fledged brood. Now is a great time to position your nest box, the ideal position being facing the box North or East and away from feeding areas. Why not send us a picture of your newly installed nestbox? Facebook us here RSPBRibbleEstuary or Tweet away at @RSPB_Ribble Don't forgot to empty and clean your nestbox next February, remove the nesting material and rinse through with hot water to remove any mites. Allow to dry thoroughly and then position back in the same place. Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers; Liz, Sue and Dawn for being such fabulous help throughout the activity. Keep your eye out for our other school holiday and family events, take a look at our website for further information and booking. Jo Spring Creeps On At Marshside Storm Dennis seemed quite forgiving after Ciara, bringing plenty of rain, but an easier wind. Somehow, spring continues to push on with blackthorn blossom at the reserve edges and hedges and shocks of yellow from the sporadic gorse bushes. Work on the ground has been hampered somewhat with the amount of water moving on the reserves, and repairs needed after the winds. It has however allowed the team to get well up to date with 'wet weather jobs', with spreadsheets, risk assessments, regulatory derogations and akin getting updated. Image: WesDavies Hardy folk have continued to explore the reserves through the storms and squalls. Sangrounders hide at Marshside has been providing much needed shelter inside for people and in its shadow for birds. Janis Sutton was treated to grand views of a barnacle goose and a impressive collection of redshank . We think all involved were glad of the shelter of the hide, either its shadow or roof. Images from Janis Sutton: Barnacle goose - Redshanks galore - squall We have had a few moments away from the gloom, and its amazing how quickly the marshes can transform ones mood as they choose to reflect the sky. Watching pintail ducks has much the same effect, and works in the gloom too. Images when the sun came out: WesDavies Reports have come in of a leucistic Canada goose popping up on Crossens and Suttons marshes, as well as the leucistic mallard pictured on Crossens marsh below. This relatively common genetic condition prevents various pigments from settling in feathers, unlike albinism (absence of pigment), it doesn't affect the coloration of eyes. It does definitely make you take a second look though. Leucistic mallard - Crossens: WesDavies