Saturday, 7 May 2011

Back to the Boxes

It was a morning of nest box checking for Gail and me as we ventured forth first to the River Hodder in Bowland for Pied Flycatchers and then to Rawcliffe Moss for Tree Sparrows. We just managed to get both sites done before it started pouring down.

At our site in the Hodder Valley we have 36 boxes up and 27 of these were occupied by:

Great Tit -9
Blue Tit -12
Pied Flycatcher -5
Nuthatch - 1

Most of the Blue and Great Tits were incubating eggs, but a few were hatching or had tiny young. Out of the 5 Pied Flycatcher nests one female was incubating a full clutch, two were still in the process of laying and the other two had complete nests and were (hopefully) about to start laying. Please see below some pictures of the various nests.

 Blue Tit nest

Blue Tit - female incubating

Great Tit nest

Tell tale signs that Nuthatches are in the box!

Nutatch nest

Pied Flycatcher nest

We then headed off to Rawcliffe Moss where I just have 12 boxes at the moment aimed at providing nest sites for Tree Sparrows. Eleven out of the twelve had active Tree Sparrow nests. They were all at one of two stages; either incubating full clutches or small young recently hatched. So there should be plenty of young Tree Sparrows to ring next weekend.

 Tree Sparrow nest

The forecast for tomorrow is for thundery showers after a period of heavy overnight rain. I'll set my alarm but I'm not too hopeful about getting out.

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