Who lives here?

Sarah found a nest, just above ground level, among the blackthorn, close to all the hazel that runs downhill alongside the hedge between Kestrel Field and Cornfield. Does anybody know what makes a nest like this?

It is about 6-8 inches across, beautifully made of fresh green moss inter-woven with twigs. It seems to be free-standing, not woven into the surrounding vegetation like a wren’s nest would be, and nor is it lined with feathers like a long tailed tit’s nest.

[1]&[2] A wren and its nest, woven into the vegetation; [3]&[4] a long tailed tit and its nest, which is covered with lichen, not moss.

Could it possibly be a hazel dormouse’s summer nest? We have only once seen evidence of dormice in the reserve, hazelnut shells with a smoothly gnawed oval hole in their sides, but we have lived in hope.

The hazel copse near the picnic place and the long stand of hazel where this nest was found were both planted more than a decade ago in the specific hope of encouraging dormice into the reserve; have we succeeded?

[5] Dormouse; [6] hazelnut shells that have been opened by a dormouse.

Not knowing what it was and because it was not woven into the surrounding bushes, Sarah had picked the nest up. When she returned it to exactly the same place, she found another nearby; dormice live in colonies when they are established

Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page if you think you know who would live in a house like this.


11 thoughts on “Who lives here?

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    1. Wrens usually build their nests in small spaces, wrapping the building materials around some anchor point. This was not anchored to anything and nor was it lined. I must admit, I thought it was a wrens nest when I first saw it.

      1. Southwick Country Park I bet. I live just behind you and always love coming here for walks. Do you get any bird of prey kites

        1. We get red kites, buzzards, sparrowhawks, kestrel, barn owls and tawny owls hunting in the reserve. This year we are fairly sure there is a pair of sparrowhawks nesting here and tawny owls nesting nearby.

  1. The dipper’s nest was on nearby brook, not seen one of the Lambrok, yet! All I was wondering is could be more contenders, good luck with ID be interested to hear

    1. Yes, I agree. Apparently male wrens build a series of unlined nests in their territory to attract a female and when she has chosen one, she lines it with feathers. It IS late in the season but wrens frequently raise two broods in the year.

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