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The greenkeepers at Exeter Golf and Country Club have built an artificial Kingfisher nesting unit as the latest in their wildlife and ecology efforts on the golf course.
For many years, nest boxes have been commonplace at Exeter Golf and Country Club to make the most of the parkland golf course. Having developed an ecology wall last year, the team were keen to extend their efforts towards the water features on the course.
Kingfishers have been spotted nipping along the stream that flows alongside the 10th hole on the golf course, and so, the greenkeepers were keen to encourage them further.
The team have dug a tunnel nesting system into the bank of the stream and covered it entirely in natural debris from the site so on first glance, the nest cannot be identified.
Kingfishers usually have two broods per season, usually in March, with pair-formations starting in February.
The artificial Kingfisher nest replicates the burrow the birds usually excavate into the sandy soil of a low stream bank – just like ours on the 10th hole. By using a vertical bank, the birds are protected from predators.
According to the RSPB website, “The first clutch of 6-7 eggs is laid late in March or early in April. Both adults incubate the eggs, and the chicks hatch 19-21 days later. Each chick can eat 12-18 fish a day, and they are fed in rotation once a chick is fed, it moves to the back of the nest to digest its meal, causing the others to move forward.”
The greenkeepers will keep a close but distant eye on the nest and keep their fingers crossed for some encouraging activity over the next few weeks.
Here’s our greenkeeper, Dave, explaining all…
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