Spring birdbox surveys…

Throughout spring the Ranger Team once again carried out birdbox surveys in both Penshaw Wood at Penshaw Monument and in Newton Wood and Cliff Rigg Wood at Roseberry Topping.

Within Penshaw Wood we again had a good rate of occupancy by both great tits and blue tits, with the majority of the 21 birdboxes producing a successful brood.

From eggs…

To chicks…

With some angry adults along the way…

We were helped out at Roseberry Topping by two of our volunteers, Adrian Thorogood and John Stinson.

John Stinson wrote the following…

‘There had been a remarkable transformation in the weather between the first and second surveys at Roseberry. The temperature for the first survey was in the low 50s, while the second took place in the upper 70s. The woodland vegetation reflected the improvement in temperature, particularly the tree canopy. The results of nesting box activity also reflected the temperature improvement.

The main findings showed that the nesting boxes are continuing to support a healthy population of blue tits and great tits, with no other species occupying the boxes. There were no species of any birds occupying the open “letter box” homes. This has been the case for the last two years. There were no birds occupying the two recently introduced owl boxes , although one was being used by grey squirrels. During our visit tawny owls were spotted in the vicinity of both boxes.

Probably most interesting find was a blue tit sitting on eggs in a nest box that was previously occupied by great tit chicks during the first of the two surveys. In fact. one fully fledged great tit chick had died and was still in the box next to the blue tit sitting on eggs.’

Another successful year then, with good numbers of blue tits and great tits at both sites. Lets hope next year brings the same…


Kate | National Trust

Kate | National Trust


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