The first Nightjar of 2012 has returned to the reserve. A single bird was churring and seen in flight this evening. Last year our first bird was heard 10 days earlier so I guess the bad weather in the first half of the month delayed the Nightjars on their return from wintering in Africa.
We had the pleasure of checking our dormouse nestboxes today. Nine dormice in eight boxes was a good result and we were able to get another cute photo of a curled-up dormouse fast asleep. Other tenants of the boxes were Blue Tits (in 44 of the boxes!) and Wood Mice. But the great surprise was to find a box occupied by a healthy brood of Marsh Tits that appeared to be ready to fledge. As we checked the box mum or dad returned with food so we didn't have time to count the young but reckon there were 4 or 5. Marsh Tits aren't doing that well nationally so getting firm breeding evidence is a real bonus.