Exciting news – we have reports of 19 active Lesser Spot nests, the most ever at this stage of the breeding season.
This year we have received more reports of Lesser Spots than in previous years, perhaps due to more people visiting their local woods rather than the main birdwatching sites or the coast.
Huge thanks to everyone who has sent in sightings, all the information is valuable.
As expected, the New Forest has the highest number of nests, but nests have been found across southern England, East Anglia and the Midlands.
Observation by Lesser Spot Network volunteers at two of the nests indicate that incubation has started. During incubation, one of the pair remains in the nest cavity and the birds change over at regular intervals of 1 to 2 hours. Normally the male incubates the eggs overnight.
Have a look at our tips for finding nests here.
If you do find a nest please make as many observations as you can and note the dates when your observations indicate incubation has started and when you first see the adults bringing food to the nest.
The data collected from observers of over 60 Lesser Spot nests from 2015-2019 showed that, on average, the first egg was laid on 30 April with a range from 17 April to 17 May.
If we need to convince you that all observations are worthwhile, have a look at our paper published in 2020, explaining why Lesser Spots really are in trouble.
For anyone that would like help in monitoring their nest Ken and Linda Smith hope to be able to travel to visit nests once COVID restrictions are eased in mid-May.