Spent four hours yesterday with Ian Hartley catching the male Pied Flycatchers in one of Paul's nest box study areas in Roeburndale. In total we caught males at 11 boxes and also two females that Paul had missed. The first discovery was that one hard working male was feeding young at two adjacent boxes. This is the third time that we have proved this to happen in our study.
Of the ten males that we caught all bar one was already ringed! A quick check on our database showed that they had all been ringed as nestlings either in Roeburndale or the adjacent valley of Hindburndale so had not moved very far at all. This is admittedly a small sample but taken with data from other woods it appears that male Pied Flycatchers are more likely to return to their natal areas than the females.
Most of the nests had well grown young. That there was plenty of insect food within the wood was very clear to us- we were almost eaten alive by midges! You had only to brush against foliage to have caterpillars on your clothing. The highlight of the day was the discovery of a Woodcock nest with four eggs.