Deri woods


Deri Woods Bird Boxes 2018

Tawny owl

Of the three owl boxes, one was used by the tawnies this year who raised two young.

Of the 53 boxes in Deri Woods, 41 were used this year.  One was home to a hornet!

Blue tit

We had 20 blue tit nests, with 96 chicks fledging!  Unfortunately not all nests were 100% successful; box 41 never got further than having three eggs before being abandoned.  Five chicks didn’t make it out of box five, but the remaining two chicks managed to get away.  Unhatched eggs were also found in two boxes on the final box checks, but young had hatched and fledged from the same boxes.  Sadly, all five young also perished in box 37.  The reasons for the failures are unclear, perhaps one or both adults could have been predated or the adults were inexperienced?

An adult blue tit was caught on our bird ringing event in June this year, he already had a ring on, having been caught and ringed at the same event in 2017!

Great tit

Great tits occupied seven boxes this year, with 22 chicks fledging.  Box 13 had one unhatched egg remaining.  One great tit nest failed at chick stage.  The tit species in general had lower clutch sizes this year, this was perhaps a response to the weather and food availability?


We did very well to have two nuthatch nests this year (first time nuthatches have used boxes in Deri).  Box 51 produced thee young, while three also fledged from box 40.  Unfortunately four young died in box 40, having never made it out of the box.  The nuthatch boxes were very distinctive, with mud plastered around the hole!

Pied flycatcher

It was mixed fortunes for the flycatchers this year, we began with 12 nest attempts.  Three were predated at egg stage, while two were abandoned leaving cold eggs.  In more positive news, of the seven remaining nests 38 chicks fledged, these were all ringed by Paul Roughley and six females were also ringed.  Two of these nests both had one unhatched egg remaining.  Unfortunately in one nest the chicks were predated before they left the box.

In 2017 there were 11 flycatcher nests and in 2016 there were four (only 24 boxes were up that year).

Two females returned to Deri this year having been ringed in the woods last year!  Ring number S311576 from box eight was in box 31 last year where she raised six young, and number S311577 from box 36 hadn’t moved far from box 32 last year, where she raised six young. 

It’s very quiet in the woods now, I always wonder where the young flycatchers disperse after leaving the boxes, they don’t have long to prepare for their migration to Africa!

Away from the boxes, Paul also found a blackcap nest and a couple of blackbirds, who are making good use of our habitat piles.