Sunday, 31 May 2015

Mixed Fortunes

Yesterday morning Kim and I checked our Pied Flycatcher boxes in the Hodder Valley. The crucial time for the Pied Flycatchers is coming up as they start to hatch, but for the Tits the crucial time is here and they aren't faring well.

The Nuthatches haven't done well either. When we first checked on 16th May there were seven young, on 25th May four young and yesterday (30th) we ringed just three young!


It was a similar picture for both the Blue and Great Tits, with small brood sizes and some dead young in the nest. It is obvious that the adults are only finding enough food to keep a small number of chicks alive. We ringed four broods of Great Tits yesterday, with brood sizes of 3, 3, 4 and 4; with a mean brood size of just 3.5! Interestingly down towards the coast on the Moss we ringed two broods of Great Tits and these were a six and a seven.

Great Tit

We only ringed two broods of Blue Tits and these were a three and a five, far less than you would normally expect.

So far the Pied Flycatchers have been producing normal brood sizes and we ringed a brood of eight and seven yesterday, but the weather will be crucial for their survival this week. The weather is forecast to be grim tomorrow and Tuesday, and then it is due to warm up later in the week. Let's hope they can survive until then. I'll be making my next check on 6th June, so I'll keep you posted. .

No comments: