Life goes on… Monday 20th June 2016

We were heartened these past two days by the sight of our blu tit mum and two young blue tits! She has been bringing them out of the tree to feed on the fat ball and fat blocks in the garden. Today one of them was flapping its wings until mum came and fed it.

When they fledge the young will stay concealed in nearby trees until they are big enough to feed themselves and also avoid other birds and animals that may take them for food.

So when we thought all was lost and that, despite all her efforts, it looks very much like from the original nine chicks two have made it!

We probably will continue next year after we have been rewarded with such a wonderful sight!

 

 

Two nights ago we had a list from one of our badgers. This is always a pleasure and privilege to see. They are building on the back of us now and so we need to value these visits as next year we may not see them!

 

And so it goes… Wednesday 8th

This is the final report on the blue tit saga.

We had expected the chicks to fledge on Monday or Tuesday of their week. When we checked them on Sunday night the four survivors were huddled up in pairs, mum again electing to roost outside the nest box. The birds were perfect, smaller versions of their parents; they had good wing feathers and the tail feathers had developed over the past few days. When I put the TV on on Monday morning there was just one living bird and one dead bird in the nest. We are hoping that two had fledged and that the mother bird had at least succeeded in getting two of the nine to live on. The living bird in the nest did not look good and despite mum calling it to come out over the next two hours it sadly passed away.

We spent hours looking for the two missing chicks- it may be they were in the box and we just couldn’t see them. Like I say we are hoping that they are out there in the trees still being looked after by their mother.

It was sad to hear on the Spring Watch TV program that when a single bird spends so much energy trying to rear a nest of chicks they use so much energy that they too will not last the summer out!

I’ve disconnected the camera from the recorder and we have said this is the last time we put ourselves through this! But as Michele said we did promise this last year!

Life is so precarious and nature can appear to be so cruel but it happens whether we are there to witness it or not!

But life goes on and no doubt the fox will keep coming and with any luck the badger will arrive again. We have just had the bull finches in the garden and I may just have a bio-blitz one day (a bio-blitz is where you exam every inch o the garden and record all the life in it from the tadpoles in the pond to the very large pine tree that used to have Christmas decorations on it 50 years or so ago!)

I will say thank you to Roger who suggested I put the date on the top and daughter Vicki who proof reads and spots all my typo’s!!

In broad daylight! 02/06/16

First of all the bird news: we lost one this morning so that leaves us with four! The mother is still doing a great job despite doing it allon her own.

Fox news: i thought we had missed the fox last night, or rather he had missed us! i usually dismiss the day;right ones, that is the videos recorded after the sun is up as it usually pigeons or blackbirds triggering the sensor! however when i looked at the ones around 5.15am there it was! it is great to see the animal in full colour!

 

Who Needs Springwatch for Drama?1st June

It has been a dramatic and sad week this week. Seven days ago we had nine blue tit chicks, then there were eight but today I have to report that there are but five (and I’m worried about two of these!)

Two days ago a neighbours cat was in the garden with blood on his chest. It was only later that I found the mangled body of an adult blue tit on the lawn! I think it was the male bird. So, Mrs Blue Tit is battling on her own to feed the chicks.

Most of the time she has been paring off pieces of fat ball from the feeders with the occasional grub or winged insect. I got up this morning having gone to bed with eight chicks looking alive and well only to see two of them still and not moving with five others demanding to be fed. I could not see the with bird but then they are moving around the nest much more than they were.

Our garden now looks like a garden centre bird feeder section! We have two mealworm feeders and lots more fat-ball and fat-stick feeders around (in addition to the eleven seed feeders!)

They do look almost ready to fledge, possibly Sunday or Monday, but I have a feeling we will be lucky to see three birds leave the nest!

Feathers, eyes and little beaks!

28th May 2016

We were checking up on on line about the diet of our blue tit chicks and did you know each blue tit chick requires 100 caterpillars, or grubs, ever single day? Which means our adult birds have to find 900 caterpillars every day for their hungry offspring! No wonder they mum and dad look so bedraggled and worn out when you see them in the garden.

As you can see they are growing fast and developing their plumage.

We had been out this afternoon and when we put on the camera to watch the chicks being fed we were privileged to see two or three of them open their eyes for the very first time! That was amazing!

I started this blog over an hour ago and have been trying to find a way of converting video from the HD recorder on the TV to MP4 so I can get it on here. I have just gone back in to see the birds and wow have they changed! They have lots of body feathers, their wings have been developing over the past couple of days- they look like proper little birds now! They have also started to preen their feathers (and each others).

Anyway back to the search for a cheap (or free!) converter for the video!

 

 

Feathers

All appears to be going well with the blue tits; mum and dad are in and out every few minutes popping grubs, insects and other unfortunates into every growing gapes!

At the last count (a few minutes ago) we have nine mouths eagerly searching for food. We think we can spot the dominant chicks and equally the runts, but then the runts climb to the top of the pile and get the next feed coming in! We know that there will be casualties, thats why they lay so many eggs- to ensure that at least a number will survive and carry the gene pool into the future!

What we have noticed today is the growth of the chick’s feathers. These images were taken yesterday afternoon and even just twenty  hours on they have even developed more!

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Isn’t Nature, and Life, Wonderful?

We had our first blue tit chicks hatch this morning. I put the tv on to see the camera when I got up this morning to see the male bird bringing in food for the female. She then set about turn the eggs, much as she has done for the past ten days or so.  When Michele went in to look thirty minutes later a number of chicks had hatched!

Shortly before 10.00am I put on the recorder and managed to get the male again feeding the female who then passed the fecal sacs to the male to dispose of. He will get rid of them well away from the tree so that predators  will not find the nest. The fecal sac contains the chicks poo and help keep the nest tidy.

All the signs are good- he is helping with the food allowing the female to stay on the nest, the weather is not too cold and there are plenty of insects and caterpillars about! So fingers crossed this year!

https://vimeo.com/167241276