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

An Unusual Clutch

I have several pairs of Bearded Tits nesting in my reed wigwam nest boxes this year. I visited one on May 4th and it had two eggs. When I next visited 20 days later  I estimated the clutch by feeling gently  at 7-8. but some eggs were piled on top of others. It is impossible to see into the nest through the small entrance hole as shown in the photo to get a more accurate count. When I went to ring the young today I was amazed to find five healthy young and five eggs . The largest clutch I have recorded before has been 7 and the usual clutch is 5/6. One can only assume that two females had laid in the one nest. I watched the  colour ringed adults feed the young  for one and a half hours and only recorded a male and a female feeding ca every four minutes.  They were both 2011 young birds and they had been recorded together acting as a pair on seven occasions in October/November last year. Another example of early pair formation in this species.

John ,

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