On Saturday (30th) we checked our boxes at the Boar Park and Barnacre expecting to ring some Pied Flycatchers. However, the Pied Flys weren't ready as yet and it will be next weekend when hopefully we will be able to ring over 50 pulli.
The only birds we ringed at the Boar Park were a brood of 4 Chaffinch and a female Pied Flycatcher that we lifted off the nest. In one of the boxes we found 6 dead Blue Tits that were virtually fully grown. In fact there were 8 birds in this brood, so it is possible that 2 had already fledged. It's hard to tell what had happened. There had been some wet weather during the week and perhaps the adults had been struggling to find food. Or, perhaps one of the adults had been killed and the remaining parent was struggling to find enough food for 8 large hungry chicks. It's tough being a Blue Tit!
At Barnacre I had my first Cuckoo of the year. It's very sad and illustrates how this bird is struggling that my first bird was as late as the end of May. Let's hope we can work out what's happening and halt the decline of this charismatic species soon. A summer without Cuckoo's isn't worth contemplating.
On the way back we called in at Myerscough College to ring a brood of three Kestrels in a natural tree site that Craig has been monitoring for a while.
We also ringed a brood of 8 Blue Tits and 6 Wrens that had converted an old Swallow's nest into a desirable Trog residence.
Back at home the garden moth trap only revealed Brimstone Moth, Garden Carpet and a very worn Clouded Drab.
Dragonflies on the menu today - Willow Emerald Damselfly I presume- three along the permitted footpath along the Northern Lake. I had a tip off from Gordon Hay that they were out in for...
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