NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A Poor Season in the Nest Boxes

My five nest box schemes are having a poor season.   Occupation rates are well down with a decline of 30% in Blue tits (65-45) and 23% in Great Tits(71-53) compared with 2012. Pied Flycatchers are very  similar to last year 13-14 but only occur in two woods. I have only 1 Nuthatch this year compared with three last year.

Both tit species are about a fortnight behind last year. Clutch size is not bad with a few low whereas others are normal.  Numbers are now feeding young. First indications are that brood size is rather low and at one site visited on May 29th three broods had succumbed no doubt due to the shortage of caterpillars  due to the unusually cold spring. This wood though usually has the highest rate of   total failures. It is mainly fairly young Ash. I visited three boxes in gardens. Blue and Great Tits had only 2 young each at the  ringing stage and the other Blue Tit had a brood  of six  all dead.

Hope the present warmer weather improves matters.
John


2 comments:

Simon Taylor said...

In 2011 and 2012 I had 15 from 32 boxes occupied at Stithians. This year it's a paltry 8.....

Pete Marsh said...

Not so bad in upper Hindburndale with many of the tits waiting and waiting before nesting

An interesting feature has been the greatly increased ratio of adult Pied Flycatcher bearing rings. So far 17 already bearing rings (two from outside the Lune valley catchment) and just 6 unringed birds