Monday, May 07, 2007

What a difference a week makes!

Another day checking the boxes in glorious weather and proceedings have definitely moved on apace – with clutches increasing and the first young appearing.

With Great Tit, fifteen boxes have eggs (total 96) with adults incubating, with a further five clutches being incubated with egg number unknown (one doesn’t lift Great Tits because of their high tendency to desert (30%)). Five nests had young (minimum 31), the oldest of which were at about three days (photo). Some pairs were still building so more may be arriving later.

Blue Tit, nine nests with eggs – 56 eggs – but only one with young, hatching today (photo). A further four boxes have adults incubating on an unknown number of eggs.

Also there are another ten ‘tit’ clutches, of at least 51 eggs, where the species responsible have yet to be identified.

The Pied Flycatcher are about with a vengeance with one pair building from nothing to laying their first egg with seven days. In all there are fourteen Pied Flycatcher nests with eggs (40 eggs, max 6 minimum 1), with another 14 nests still being built.

One box contains confirmed Redstarts (photo) with four eggs. Redstart nests are very similar to Pied Flycatchers nests except that Redstarts tend to make use of feathers whereas Pied Flys do not – so some of the labelled Pied Flys nests may turn out to belong to Redstarts (if I’m lucky). In addition one ‘woodpeckered’ box contains a brood of five young Robins – (max seven days old but likely to be 4-5, photo); and the nestbox taken over by Nuthatches does not appear to have gone any further in build compared to last week.

Finally, also discovered a ground-based Robins nest – flushing the adult while I was making my way to one of the boxes. A quick search revealed a nest of five eggs – a nice find.

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