Since 2005 I have placed a number of nest boxes around the garden and in the adjoining oak wood. I had hoped to get some Pied Flycatchers nesting and over the years this has succeeded better than I ever hoped.
All Blue Tits died
Very small broods
However some years things have not gone very smoothly and several of the young birds have failed to fledge, poor weather seems to have been the biggest factor.
Above is a table giving my results so far.
Blue Tits have been by far the most common bird using my boxes. Had a Spotted Flycatcher in 2005 but none since. In 2015 we found a Spotted Flycatcher nest in the woodland garden and the 5 eggs all hatched, however something took the young chicks. It then moved to a ledge above our bathroom window and was successful, returning again in 2016.
Had the first Pied Flycatcher in 2007, and had at least one pair since, building up to 6. 2015 saw 7 nests started but sadly no eggs were laid in one nest so I still feel my record is still 6.
The other species have been Great Tits, Redstarts and Pied Wagtails.
It's the return of the spring migrants and the sound of the cuckoo and the wood warbler I really look forward to. The earliest return was a swallow on April 7th in 2007, but the usual period is 15th April to the end of the month, then May is great to see them around the house and in the wood.
The sound of the cuckoo has been normally been first heard over those last two April weeks, 2016 it was 24th, and the wonderful call was heard regularly in May and into June.
In 2016 the first bird back I saw here was a Pied Flycatcher on April 14th.