Tuesday, 17 June 2014

New Arrivals

The Robins may have been early this year in producing the next generation, but the Great Tits were bang on a similar timescale to last year.

I noticed the parents starting to bring food into the nest box the weekend of 17th May.  I watched them one night, past 9pm still frantically feeding their brood.  They also removed 5 or 6 faecal sacs one after the other, so that gave me a good indication as to how many chicks they had in there.

Last year the chicks fledged on 4th June, but there was no sign of them leaving on the same day this year.  The weather didn't help as it was wet.  On 6th June we had a family barbecue and spent several hours in the garden, the Great Tit parents still busily feeding their young.  Fledging day was imminent I felt, especially when I spotted a wee beak poking out of the nest box hole!

Busy feeding the noisy brood!
Peek-a-boo! One of the chicks has a look at the big wide world
The next day turned wet and windy so the chicks remained house-bound, but by Sunday morning the nest box had gone quiet.  I could hear the young calling from the surrounding trees and shrubs.

Today I finally saw the first of the fledglings, standing on the patio begging for food! I am hoping they will all start appearing at the bird feeders in due course, just like last year's young.  I will try and get a photo if I see any of them.

I forgot to report on the Starlings.  They had made their nest in the soffit area of our loft, and had poked out the plastic vent covers for easy access!

They were a noisy bunch, and the nest was right above our bed, so we spent a couple of weeks in the spare room prior to their fledging!

One morning I caught sight of one of the adults trying to tempt its young from the nest, their curious head poking through the vent holes, but they were very reluctant to go!

Deciding whether to leave or not - you can see where
the nest is located, twigs poking through the vent
Eventually, they got brave and the loft went quiet again. Although just this weekend I caught one of the adults trying to get back into the loft, and a vent cover had been removed again! I hope they don't go for another brood...

© Karen Hartnell - all images and text may not be reproduced in any way.


Frank said...

Karen. It's good to learn of the successful breeding around your home.
Those Starling are pretty canny ... lifting off the vent covers to provide a weatherproof nest for their youngsters.

Karen the Artist said...

Thanks Frank. I watched the young Great Tits yesterday afternoon, first visit to feeding area while their dad was feasting on the nut feeder.