Having treated local birds to self-made fat balls and counted them in the school grounds, the children at Lybster and Pennyland Primary have now built bird boxes in the third and last session focusing on the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Bird Watch.
Led by local volunteer Brian Johnston, the children rolled up their sleeves and - equipped with hammers - made boxes to be hung up in the school grounds and on the RSPB Forsinard Flows nature reserve. The only thing that remains to be seen now is when the first blue tit or robin will take possession of their new home!
Letting themselves be inspired by the intricately woven nests of wrens, swallows and stonechats, which the education team had brought along for the children to examine, the pupils also created their own nests. Roving the school grounds on the hunt for nesting material, they almost rivalled the Flow Country birds with the beautiful nests they made out of wool, moss, heather and more material coming from the Flow Country.
The nests wouldn’t be quite complete without eggs, of course, so the children shaped eggs out of clay to resemble their favourite Flow Country bird’s clutch.
Yet, birds do need to be alert to danger when they are collecting nesting material, as the children found out when a hen harrier pursued a flock of nest building meadow pipits in the ‘hen harrier chase game’, which completed the bird fun!