Here we are in December, and the bird box remains empty. In previous years a winter lodger has arrived during November. With the awful weather in the last couple of weeks it seems likely that birds would be looking for winter shelter, so it’s disappointing that our bird box has not been selected yet. There are Blue Tits around in the garden, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.
The weather station and associated kit is running on battery power at the moment (around 7pm) because of a power cut, but it seems likely the batteries will be exhausted before the power comes back – a local transformer has self-destructed in a spectacular shower of sparks. If the web site goes down, at least you’ll know why.
For the same reason there is no bird box picture tonight, but the box is empty.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Since the last brood of Blue Tits left our webcam-equipped bird box in May, the box has remained empty. In previous years a lone Blue Tit has arrived during November, spending each night in the box and going out to feed during the day. With any luck we see nesting begin in the Spring, followed by a clutch of eggs and another family of chicks.
In the hope that another winter lodger will arrive soon the webcam is back on, taking a single photo at about 7pm each day. Keep checking back on the bird box page to see whether we are in luck this winter.
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.
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.