In late winter we always carry out our annual nest box maintenance work at our Pied Flycatcher and Tree Sparrow sites. Over the past few weeks Gail, Alice, John, Robert and I have been busy repairing, replacing and re-numbering our boxes.
First up, was our Pied Flycatcher scheme in the Hodder Valley in Bowland. Presently, there are 41 boxes there, and this number was maintained by replacing eight dilapidated boxes. All the boxes are now in tip-top condition awaiting the arrival of the Pied Flycatchers from Africa. There were no surprises in any of the boxes, as there sometimes can be, other than a hibernating queen Wasp sp., who was left in peace to continue with her slumber.
Walking through the woodland here we came across lots of Scarlet Elfcup and Yellow Brain fungus on some of the fallen deadwood. The only birds that I entered in my notebook from here was a Woodcock and two singing Goldcrests.
Our Tree Sparrow site is on a friend's farm near Garstang. Earlier in the year Robert and I put three Tawny Owl boxes up, but it was the Tree Sparrows turn this time. We put some additional boxes up on some of the buildings in the yard, as there is a healthy Tree Sparrow colony centred on the old buildings in the yard, and others on hedgerow trees and in the woodland. I enjoy providing nest boxes, as it is a really positive bit of conservation work that has huge benefits for the populations of some of our cavity nesting bird species.
We just need to wait now.