by Chris McVittie (May 23, 2017)
Swallow eggs, taken with endoscope (CMcV)
These last few days, I have either opened or used an endoscope to check the boxes. Up until this opening I have just observed nest box activity [on a number of outings].
The nest boxes are quite active with eggs being laid. Only one nest has chicks [House Sparrow], hatched in last 2-3 days.
House Sparrow nests 10
Tree Swallow nests with eggs 13
Tree Swallow nests no eggs 5
Chickadee [probable] 1
Empty [or not checked] 30 [4 were not checked due to undergrowth, 3 of these are probable House Sparrow, 1 I was unable to open]
Total # boxes 50 [19 new this year]
1. Activity in new boxes is light
12 along dyke [1 swallow nest 5 eggs, 3 nests partially built, 8 empty]
5 in interior along fence [1 swallow nest 3 eggs, 1 being fought over Sparrow and Swallow, 3 Empty]
2 behind pump house inside [1 swallow nest 4 eggs, 1 Empty]
2. One box  that was Tree Swallow was taken over by Sparrows.
Result 1 dead Swallow. Something similar might happen at  Swallow nest observed last week, house sparrow in and out on Saturday.
3. Two boxes by raptor trail 26 and 27 both have Swallows in with eggs
4. Use of endoscope without ladder makes it easier on nest checker AKA “Swallow Whisperer”
5. Checking boxes takes quite a while as many people [a dozen] were interested in finding out about the project. Conversations were quite long.