Early returns from the groups nest box schemes suggest a good population of most species with a very early start this year and several nest already have young, whereas last season egg laying was just getting underway.
Great Tits are present in good numbers and far out number Blue Tits in the less mature and more marginal habitats.,whereas Blue Tits are the commonest in the more mature and upland woods. To date we have 2 Marsh Tits nesting - we had no pairs using the boxes last year, and Nuthatches are also present in larger numbers.
A visit yesterday to my main Pied Flycatcher wood where last year we had 8 occupied boxes revealed 9 nests 3 of which had eggs. This is 10 days earlier for first egg date than in 2013.
Tawny Owls are also doing well with two clutches of 4 and one of 5, they usally have just three. A visit today to the pair with five eggs revealed 3 recently hatched young and two headless Bank Voles. We also ringed a brood of 3 in another nest box and all seemed well fed.