Pete, the bird ringer returned yesterday, the man whom a chance meeting in 2004 started me off putting up my boxes. He's back for his 39th year, and despite now living in Northumbria for many years still returns to monitor his beloved pied flycatchers. He checks out around 200 nests in various local locations.
He reports that the occupancy rates of his boxes are the lowest since 2009, possibly longer, as he only has those records with him. The oak wood on the opposite side of our valley, where he has over 20 boxes only had 6 pied flycatcher nests and 1 redstart. He was only able to ring 11 young due to the others being too small, whereas last year he did 49 in that wood.