Saturday, 14 May 2016

Much Better News

No ringing today, so instead I got back down to Linacre for a couple of hours checking the nestboxes. I'm very glad I did as well, because, not only had the number of active nests increased from 11 to 24 (!), but there was also a very welcome return to a species that hasn't bred successfully at Linacre since 2010 (clue - it has blue eggs).

23 of the active nests belonged to either Blue or Great Tits. There were more sitting birds this week, which means their clutches are now complete and full incubation has begun.

Blue Tit sitting tight

The 24th nest, however, contained something a lot more exciting .. a single blue egg, which belongs to.... Pied Flycatcher!!!

Pied Flycatcher nest

As I mentioned at the start of today's post, this species hasn't nested successfully in one of the nest boxes since 2010. Eggs were laid in 2011, but failed, no birds were recorded in 2012, a singing bird was present in 2013, but no nests were found, and there were no records at all in 2014 and 2015. Hopefully, the nest will continue, and young will fledge. I'm keeping everything crossed!

As well as the nest boxes, I also managed to spot a Tawny Owl flying through the woodland, Blackbirds and Robins with food, several singing Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Wrens, Song Thrushes and a very agitated male Blackcap that was scolding as I checked one of the boxes. The Great-crested Grebes were still on their nest on the top reservoir, the Shag was still on the bottom reservoir, a Moorhen was seen with 2 chicks and there were 3 broods of Mallard (4, 10 and 6).

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