I have visited two of my nest box schemes over the past two days. Both are much later than last year but there was a interesting attitudinal difference . In the one at sea level out of 20 occupied boxes 6, all Great Tits were incubating, although they have only just got started. By this time in 2014 almost all were well into incubation.
In the scheme at around 200 metres no tits were incubating and only 9 had incomplete clutches. On the same day last year 8 were incubating and 6 had incomplete clutches. The great thing though at this upland Oak woodland was the numbers of Pied Flycatchers singing and entering nest boxes with 13 nests many of them complete.Some of these will turn out to be 'cock nests' but this compares with just seven pairs in 2014. This wood is part of our RAS Pied Flycatcher study and it was great to see 4 of the birds we got a good look at were ringed.
It was a great morning though. We ringed a further 11 Lapwing nestlings and it was great to see 2 families of 3 each, which we ringed a week ago were all still alive and sporting their rings! A visit to a farmer friend to inspect a Barn Owl box we gave him last year produced a clutch of 4. Cuckoos were calling and many Snipe drumming.