4 Jun 2015

Nest boxes.

The nest boxes I got permission to install on a local farm have been a resounding success with 7 out of 9 being used by Great Tits or Blue Tits. One early brood died possibly due to a prolonged wet period but the others have thrived and fledged. I've got permission to put more boxes up when I find the time to make some!

So far I've ringed about 50 young from these boxes which is a contrast to the ones I installed in our garden and the surrounding open space. Only one of these boxes is inhabited and I wonder if predation pressure from the local cats is becoming a severe problem.
Above - 10 baby Blue Tits around 4-5 days old
Above - the same Blue Tits a week later 
 Young Blue Tit ringed from the brood above showing feathers emerging from sheaths
 Above - 5 baby Great Tits with 'feathers short' ready for ringing.
Above - the same brood of Great Tits almost ready to fledge.

As usual I get an appreciative audience whenever I'm checking the nest boxes!

We also took the opportunity to ring some Jackdaw chicks in a box originally installed for Little Owls in Barry's garden. There were two healthy chicks who are obviously getting well fed and were quiet loud in their protestations about being removed from their festering nest.

Ringers around the country are reporting Blue & Great Tits are having a poor breeding season with small broods and many young dying in the nest. Hopefully a spell of warmer weather will give them a chance to try a 2nd brood.

Birds aside we've been doing some building work in the garden and removing some old paving slabs I put down as temporary steps 12 years ago we came across a lot of frogs which have been moved to a more suitable home beneath some rotting logs.

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