Next week, young ornithologists across the country are being encouraged to make a nestbox for the local wildlife to enjoy as part of National Nestbox Week, and there are plenty of places on The Suffolk Coast that you can take the family to join in the fun!
Whether you venture to one of our local reserves (such as RPSB Minsmere or Carlton Marshes) or stay at home to enjoy the sights from your garden you will be sure to spot some of birds that are native to The Suffolk Coast.
Although we are accustomed to seeing birds such as the common Blackbird, Starling, chirpy little Robin and the Blue Tit, you’ll now be able to spot a few lesser known species which have escaped the harsh Scandinavian winters for the relatively mild ones on the East Coast of Great Britain; The Suffolk Coast!
Look out for the Waxwing, a stunning little bird, trilling its call whilst working its way between berry bushes. Adding a splash of colour to the bird table is the Bramling, displaying distinctive black and red markings. The Redwing with an orange flash on its flanks and the slightly shyer Fieldfare are also among many of the less common birds to be found on The Suffolk Coast this season.
Offering wild birds the right mix of food can have a major impact on a species reproductive success. Choose foods such as peanuts, seed mixes and fat balls, whilst avoiding giving them bread which does not have the qualities to give birds the energy they need to survive.
Having a bird box and feeder in your garden is a great way to help wild birds to survive the winter and gives you the chance to appreciate our feathered friends from afar.
Making a bird box couldn't be simpler. Use a single piece of wood, costing just a couple of pounds, cut into six sections. Make sure you site your nesting box high up in a tree or building away from predators, strong sunlight and wind. A north-east facing spot is best.
1. Cut the timber for the bird box into six sections using the following measurements: back panel 45cm x 15cm; base 11cm x 15cm; front 20cm x 15cm; Roof 21cm x 15cm; and two side panels cut for a sloping roof, 25cm high on the back x 20cm high at the front
2. Cut the wood along the pencil lines using a wood saw. Sand down all rough edges to protect the birds.
3. Nail one of the sides to the base of the bird box, then nail them both to the back section. Hammer gently to avoid splitting the wood.
4. Turn the nesting box on to the fixed side and nail the other side into position. Three nails for each join should be enough.
5. Before fixing the front panel to the sides, make an entrance hole for the birds using a wide drill bit (approx. 25–28mm) Sand the edges smooth.
6. Place the bird box on its back and nail the front to the sides. The pieces should all fit together without gaps.
7. Use the self-tapping screws to fix the top to the sides and the front. This will allow you to remove the top to clean the bird box out.
8. Drill a hole in the top of the bird box and attach it to a tree using a screw. Position in a sheltered north-east facing spot.