I spent much of the day at Pitsford Res today as part of a team monitoring nest-boxes on the reserve. We managed to check the majority of the big boxes and some selected small boxes. Dave Francis has designed a Treecreeper nest-box with a high take-up rate and several of these boxes are erected in the plantations. Pictures of a first-brood are as below.
We checked on a pair of Marsh Tits using a nest-box in the Scaldwell Bay and they had successfully hatched eight young from eight eggs and were busy feeding them while we were nearby.
Most of the bigger boxes were rather disappointing with Grey Squirrels inhabiting many of them. None of the first breeding efforts of Stock Doves and Jackdaws in the boxes had succeeded but we did find a Jackdaw nest in a natural site which contained two young.
Four pairs of Tawny Owls have used the nest-boxes at Pitsford this year, with the latest of the nests being visited today. The adult female owl sat tight to protect her single nestling. Cached food for the owlet included Brown Rat and Wood Mouse.
Other birds noted on our way around included at least one Oystercatcher, Cuckoo and plenty of Common Terns.
|Tawny Owl nestling|
|Adult female Tawny Owl|
All pictures courtesy of Chris Payne.