At about 11am today our two Blue Tit chicks left the nest and went out into the big wide world – wish them luck!
We’ll leave the bird box and nest for a while in case one of the adults returns, then once we’re sure it isn’t being used any more we’ll give the box a clean ready for the next inhabitants. Based on experience of previous years we expect it will be empty until around November, when we hope another bird will move in for the winter. Then we may see another brood next spring.
We have two chicks in the box this morning, though there were three yesterday. There is no sign of a body and it is getting close to the time when we would expect the chicks to fly, so the likelihood is that one of the chicks has left the nest. Let us hope it is faring well in the big wide world.
The remaining two chicks look healthy and active, so no doubt they will be on their way very soon.
It’s now 3:50pm and the temperature is 28.5C, so the May 2010 record has been broken. That’s probably the peak temperature for today, but what a change from the cool April and early May.
It’s 12:30pm and the thermometer has passed the 26C mark, and it’s still rising. The record high for May in the five years the station has been running here was 28.1C on 23 May 2010. We could see that figure exceeded this afternoon – place your bets now!
Sadly there have been some casualties in our brood of young Blue Tits – at least one and probably two have died. The cold, wet spring has led to a shortage of food and the current warm spell has come a little too late for some of the chicks. This year has seen hardship for many forms of wildlife, and our Blue Tits are no exception.
The remaining chicks are now recognisable as Blue Tits, and it won’t be long before they can clamber out of the central well of the nest. Not long after that they will be able to look out of the hole in the front of the box, to get their first glimpse of the world outside. Meanwhile both parent birds are back and forth with food from dawn till dusk.
The forecasters are suggesting warmer weather for next week, and if it happens it won’t be before time! April this year was cooler than usual, and May has yet to see an improvement – the average temperature so far this month is 10C, about two degrees below what we would expect at this time of year.
Although it doesn’t seem likely that we will see a repeat of April’s deluge, with nearly two weeks to go we have already reached the average rainfall for May. Some warm weather now should get things growing at last.