Rangers at National Trust Greenway are delighted with news that firecrests are breeding for the second year running as NT Wildlife Week approaches (23rd to 30th May).
The first ever confirmed breeding of Firecrest in Devon was recorded in the National Trust grounds at Greenway last year. Now local bird expert, Mike Langman has confirmed that they are already back again in the gardens surrounding Greenway, Agatha Christie’s former holiday home, even though it’s still early in the season. Mike said, “There are several pairs and two males carrying food so already some breeding attempts are being made.”
Mike has also identified 16 territories with singing males on National Trust land, which indicate potential breeding pairs. However, not all will breed or be successful.
These birds are regular annual visitors to the area, but normally just pass through en route for breeding sites further south and east.
Tim Bumby, Lead Ranger for the National Trust English Riviera, explained, “Greenway provides a good habitat for these birds with a mixture of broadleaves and coniferous tree that have a varied and thick understorey of holly and evergreen oak.”
Janet Lister, Wildlife and Countryside Adviser for the National Trust, added, “Records show that Firecrests are wintering further north, presumably as a result of recent warmer winters, which means they can then breed further north without long migration. In the UK, these birds are spreading north and west from South East England where they have been breeding for some time.”
Greenway is now open 7 days per week all season until 01 November and in addition to NT Wildlife Week, the National Trust Coastal Festival, also during May half term will encourage people to get out and explore the South West coast.
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