Tenuous link being that 7 Great Tit eggs were laid and hatched but only 5 fledged. Four must have flown away very early this morning but I managed to film the last one who seemed to be undecided whether to stay a while longer or go for it.
I have 12 nest boxes, 3 with cameras, two of the boxes with cameras have not been used, the third one housed a Blue Tit all through winter, in Spring it found a mate and began building a nest but when the nest was half complete one of the birds died in the box. I removed it and another pair took over the box and continued constructing the nest, However, just as the nest was complete, along came a Tree Bumblebee and evicted the Blue Tits. I toyed with the idea of evicting the bee but after contacting Bumblebee Conservation Trust I decided to let nature take its course and welcome my new neighbour. The downside seems to be a risk of being stung if I mow the lawn next to the nest box but I just hope that they will beehave themselves.
The Great Tit in the film is actually in a friends nest box 400 miles south in Birmingham, I have a streaming type access to his nest box, the wonders of technology. What I found interesting was that 400 miles north in Aberdeenshire, we are about a month behind when it comes to nesting.
Fabulous film David
We have great tit chicks in our box and they're making plenty of noise but no sign of any heads or beaks appearing at the entrance hole yet, we're in Cheshire so a rough guess might be a week or so behind Birmingham, a couple of weeks or so ahead of Aberdeen!
We had a scare last week when a magpie managed to get its head far enough into the box to pull out a mass of bedding material but everything's been fine since and we don't think it managed to get a chick, scary moment though!
We'd certainly like to get a camera rigged up to the box, very impressive.
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Great post (no pun intended!)
I wish the bees could evict some of the pigeons we have around us - they're taking over from the rabbits!
We live right on the edge of surburbia surrounded by farmland so we get lots of wildlife in the garden. Seem to have a lot of chaffinches flitting around this year and also blackbirds, starlings, a magpie and lots of the aforementioned! Not seen any bats yet this year but usually see them most nights in the summer, at dusk.
We bought my parents a nest-box with camera back in 2005 - they've had blue-tits using it every year since with varying degrees of success. We upgraded the internal camera to a modern colour version last year - much better. They live in Herefordshire and told us this morning that all 7 of their fledglings flew the nest this morning. :)
I did hear somewhere that spring travels up the UK at approximately 8 miles per day so would explain the northern parts being a few weeks behind the southern areas?
"I did hear somewhere that spring travels up the UK at approximately 8 miles per day so would explain the northern parts being a few weeks behind the southern areas?"
About 2 mph. So if there's a stage that's particularly attractive you can walk north and nearly stay in it!
: - )
"Not seen any bats yet this year but usually see them most nights in the summer, at dusk."
A detector adds enormously to the fun. I built ours from a Magenta kit.
Glad you all enjoyed the film. I used to have 3 different camera set ups, hard wired, CCTV and wifi, this year I replaced the CCTV camera with another wifi camera because it is so easy to operate and take photos / videos with your phone or laptop or tablet, it is a Green Feathers camera.
Our cat has caught the occasional pigeon but most of the time a Sparrowhawk gets them.
We do get bats but I never thought about a bat detector, I will have to look into that. We have noticed a big increase in insect life since I installed a pond during lockdown, especially dragon flies and damsel flies, I have never seen them before. It astonishes me how newts have found their way into the pond and we get badgers coming to drink from the pond at night.
I kept bees for several years. As you say, they hated the lawnmower, particularly the ride-on mower, and would have attacked me in swathes were it not for my beekeeper's suit. The bumblebees were far more tolerant, however, which I always ascribed to the fact that if they sting, that's the end of their own tribe, unlike the honey bees.
Thanks for the info Alan. I have one of the new cordless mowers that doesn't make much noise but it seems to be vibrations that annoy them. However, I have just received an incredibly long email from someone on the RSPB forum and it made me realise what a short complicated life these bees have and just how little I know about the insect world.
I am now quite fascinated to see how this colony grows and if needs bee, I won't cut the section of lawn by the box. Interestingly, a Queen wasp has now entered the box but seems to have left after a brief recky. I assume the bee was out at the time otherwise there may have been an interesting confrontation.
Same occurred with my bird box. Blue Tit pair took up residency only to be evicted by bees before any eggs hatched.
Bees forcibly evicted but too late for birds to return. Box now in isolation till next Spring.
We currently have a nest of Blue Tits nesting in the canopy above our porch - it's lovely hearing them 'cheeping' away as we come and go and they don't seem particularly bother by us.
Looking forward to seeing them take to the air in the near future and get their 'wings'... low flying indeed!
Bolter, bolter, full power...
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