Like other places around the Country our nest box birds such as tits and Treesparrows have been having a hard time as well.
We have a minimum of 15 boxes for Treesparrows at our farmland site and this year the takeup has been down by more than 50%. Of the 15, only 6 have been Treesparrows, 2 with tits and the other 7 all with nests in them at various stages of completion, and have remained this way since the end of April. The first 3 broods hatched in the middle of May but saw losses of 3/5, 1/5, and 4/5, I would think this was during a cold, wet spell that we endured, but the remaining chicks fledged successfully. These nests now have 2nd clutches in them all with 5 eggs. In comparison, by the 8th of May last year 7 broods of 5 had successfully fledged. Lets hope as the weather improves so will the 'sparrow' activity.
Our 31 boxes in the woodland site have also seen a low take up this year and a few losses of chicks and eggs. We have 8 containing Blue Tits, out of the 67 eggs laid remarkably only 8 eggs didn't hatch, the largest brood was 12 with no losses and the smallest was 2 chicks from 4 eggs, all remaining chicks are so far still growing well with no further losses. The Great Tits haven't fared as well, with only 5 boxes used and 36 eggs laid, of these 22 have failed including a brood of 9 well grown chicks found dead and a clutch of 5 eggs abandoned. Both species seem to have laid a fewer number of eggs than expected this year.
When we resume our ringing at the feeding station in the Autmn/Winter period it should give us an idea as to how well the breeding season has been, locally, as we would expect to ring over 300 Blue/Great Tits.
Our Swallows seem to be doing a lot better, although late starting, some still on eggs but due to hatch in the nest few days and 2 broods already fledged.