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)

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The strange year continues

although Alan reports a good year at Aughton, the boxes in Roeburndale are having a very poor year. Nesting attempts  are higher than previous years, reflecting good productivity and survival from last year, but nest success is much poorer than in previous years.

Many clutches of Blue Tit and Great Tit are smaller than previous years and fewer birds have been hatched than 'normal'. Fledgling survival is poor with many instances of small broods (typically 4 or 5 this year, rather than 8-12 in 'normal' years) and of those fledgelings, many are predated by a number of culprits - possible because young in nests are much more vocal, this year, as if begging ludly for food that parents are finding it hard to find.

Trees in these upland woods were very late in putting out leaves this year (and many trees still do not have complete canopies) so presumably there are fewer caterpillars around? Lowland woods may be faring much better this season than upland woods, although the large nestbox scheme at Lancaster University also seems to be having a poor year.

Migrants, such as Pied Flycatcher appear to have been late arriving, yet have returned in big numbers. Their broods, by being later than the Tit ones, may benefit from the later leaf emergence this year - we wait and see


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