Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Wales, Sunday 17 June

Tom, Mick P and I made what could possibly be the last trip to the boxes in Wales, 25 years after we first started the project there. It was a mostly cloudy and breezy day but at least it did not rain.
We could not get any local information about the state of the birds so I took a flyer based on information on Facebook. Unfortunately we were probably about 5 days too late. We ringed 48 birds, 43 Pied Flycatcher and 5 Redstart – all pulli except for 3 adult Pied Flycatcher. We also had 1 retrap Pied Flycatcher, an adult from last year.

We recorded 18 nests that appeared to have fledged, if we had gone earlier in the week we would probably have got well over 100 birds ringed.

I've looked at occupancy rates where Pied Flycatchers or Redstarts have got to at least the egg stage.
In the first year (1993) we had an occupancy rate of 70.3%. This rate has dropped generally over the years dropping below 50% for the first time in 2008. This year was the lowest rate ever at just 26.02%.

The pictures of birds were all taken using a NatureWatch camera costing £25, as shown recently on Spring Watch. The last couple of photos show the camera in position.


 Pied Flycatchers photographed remotely at a box (above) and pictures showing how the camera is set (below).

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