It's been a couple of weeks since I last checked the nestboxes at Linacre, so I popped down for a couple of hours this morning, before the rain and wind started!!
It was a mixture of good news and bad news (as is always the case with every nestbox season). The bad news was that all three owl boxes, that had been used by Mandarins this year, appear to have failed. A quick check yesterday afternoon, revealed cold, uncovered eggs and no females. The better news, however, is that this morning's tit box check revealed a total of 32 active nests, the first chicks of the year (7 Great Tits, still naked and blind, so most likely very recently hatched), my first ever record of a Coal Tit using a nestbox, and a pair of Pied Flycatchers entering a nestbox!! In addition, the Mallard's nest with 8 eggs was empty this morning (hopefully fledged successfully), and another nest, with 6 eggs this time, was found on the floor in the woods.
After checking the boxes, I walked around all three reservoirs, and spotted the following waterbirds: Mallard (72; 51 adults and 21 ducklings from 4 broods of 8, 1, 5 and 7), Coot (12; 7 adults and 1 brood of 5 - first of the year), Moorhen 14; 9 adults and 1 brood of 5 - first of the year), Mandarin (7 males), Tufted Duck (30), Canada Goose (5; 3 flew over and 2 on the top reservoir), Greylag Goose (2 on the top reservoir - second record of the year), Great-crested Grebe (4 adults), Grey Wagtail (1), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 adult) and a 1st summer/2nd calendar year (born 2020) Black-headed Gull - only my second May record of this species. 2 Swallows were also seen over the top reservoir.