It's been a successful and early season for all the seven nest box schemes that I collect data for. Of the 213 nest boxes 124 (58%) were occupied by 54 Blue Tits, 46 Great Tits, 17 Pied Flycatchers 3 Nuthatch, and 2 each of Marsh Tits and Coal Tits. Compared with 2013 Blue Tits are up by 8, Great Tits down by 8 and Pied Flycatchers up by one. Distribution though was interesting. Comparing the numbers of Great Tits to Blue Tits, in the mainly Ash dominated woodlands in the low lying Silverdale area 60% were Great Tits but in the higher Oak Woodlands of the Lune valley 84% were occupied by Blue Tits. The figure in the Lower Oak woods was 66% for Blue Tits
Pied Flycatchers appear to be moving away from the lower oak woodlands. This year they have declined from four pairs to just two. But the upper woodlands have seen an increase of three pairs.
Success rate for all species was very high with 95 boxes (79%)producing young. Apart from losses of complete broods in one area which was almost certainly due to predation of the adults by Sparrowhawks. Survival after hatching has been high being 92% in Blue Tits and 98% in Great Tits. These high survival rates are no doubt due to the large numbers of moth caterpillars reported this year and the favorable weather.