Its been a difficult season so far for our nest boxes. A few Great and Blue Tits started at the usual time, but most are 10-15 days late no doubt due to the cold April . Clutch and brood size have been low in the tits and Nuthatch and there has been several cases of the all brood being found dead.
It has varied somewhat from site to site , difficult to know why this should be be . At one site close to a well stocked feeding station, survival and brood size has been good. But at another, also close to feeding stations it is the worst season in over twenty years. Besides the difficult weather this later wood is suffering badly from Ash die-back.
By contrast Pied Flycatchers in most of our woods are doing well. They are about 10-15 days later than usual but clutch size has been normal. Too early yet to report on brood size as on the last visit two days ago around 50% had yet to hatch. One wood has suffered from heavy predation, thought to be weasel or Stoat.
Recoveries recently have been rather sparse but some interesting ones. A Blackcap ringed on 26th November at a feeding station was found dead 36 days later 290 km south in Somerset. So they move around in winter.
Siskins are uncommon breeders in our area and a juvenile caught at a feeding station on July 19th was thought probably to have been a locally bred bird. However it was caught 330 kms north in Aberdeenshire, soo obviously a Scottish breeder. It is our 37th Siskin from NE Scotland.
A Lesser Redpoll ringed on 20th April was found in the Western Isles 452 km north in 20 days.
This is a busy time of year with ringing starting on our Sand Matin RAS on the River Lune.Last year we had 120 nests of Pied Flycatcher in the Lune valley. So hopefully we will have plenty of nestlings and adults to ring this year in our RAS.