I am slowly getting through the winter checks and repairs on the bird boxes.
Of the 14 checked so far, only one was empty, all the others had plenty of evidence of occupation. No mice so far! Same box as last year, numbered 13 - unlucky perhaps. It's in the hedge between the woodland and a field, high in a mature tree. Time for a new location, I think.
Box eight, missing for ages, showed up in amongst the trees, I just happened to be helping install a new bench and spotted it on the ground. It came home to dry out and be checked for any repairs required.
Box 11 has now disappeared, I'll need to have a good rummage about to see if I can find it before the undergrowth starts up again.
Amongst the nesting material, I only found one desiccated body, looks like a tree sparrow from the feathers on the head, it was in box 7, in the alders near the entrance to Cooperative Wood.
Generally, the lorry inner tube bands holding the boxes to the trees have worn well enough, although most need replacing after one year. The material does not seem to have had any impact on the trees, but has perished, probably through exposure to the elements.