Thursday, 5 April 2012

Nest building...

Two days on and the snow has pretty much disappeared, on the lower ground at least, and temperatures are milder with light showers on and off.

The unexpected snowfall hasn't slowed down the Spring activity though as a pair of Blue Tits have started nest building in the garden today. I have two nest boxes in the garden, one is a larger box which was homemade quite a few years ago and is regularly used by Great Tits. A couple of years ago I acquired an RSPB premade nest box and it was located on the fence. There was evidence of nest building inside but no successful nest attempts. This year I have moved this second box onto the side partition wall which has more shade and is a couple of feet higher. I was worried at the lack of interest lately but my worries were removed today when a pair of Blue Tits were busily hurrying in and out with nesting material. I kept an eye on the box most of the afternoon and managed to get some pictures.

As I watched the Blue Tits coming and going I also observed them feeding on small insects around the buds of the Rowans outside the garden and also the male quite actively chasing off other species. Interestingly the focus seemed to be on any birds that attempted to use the peanut feeder with birds on the niger and fatballs being left alone. I saw Greenfinch and Great Tit being chased off and also an inquisitive Coal Tit who actually went right up to the nest box entrance and had a look inside.

On one occasion in what I think was the male due to the vibrant blue crown, returned with a huge beakful of material and slightly over estimated the size of the entrance hole.

Clinging on whilst re-adjusting
But he made it in eventually
Ready for another trip
Other observations of note were 4 male Blackbirds on the grass which at one point got fairly heated as they grappled in mid air. One male seemed to be trying to fend off all the other 3 at the same time.

The "winner"
I am dedicating this blog post to my girlfriend who has had a rough time of it lately (and also loves Blue Tits) and I hope that she gets better soon so she can get back to listening to me ramble on about everything bird!

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