Here are our earlier Wildlife news items:
Spring & Summer 2018
23rd May 2018 – Camera 1
Well that was a complete surprise. Normally we see the birds exercising their wings for a few days before they take flight, but not this year. We arrived this morning to find an empty nest, not a single bird was left. Last year we had a clutch later in the season so we will keep the cameras running just incase they start again.
22nd May 2018 – Camera 1
It’s all go in the nesting box with the new birds stretching their wings and exercising them ready to leave. It could be any day now that they take their first flight, but just incase we will leave the camera running over half term.
14th May 2018 – Camera 1
I can’t believe that we’re already 2 weeks in after the Great Tits hatched. Mum and dad continue a constant feeding routine from dawn to dusk. It will probably be only a week before they think about leaving the nest. This normally seems to happen before 10am.
12th May 2018 – Camera 1
The hatched birds continue to grow at an incredible rate, they already have quite a bit of fluff on them. It looks as though only 9 of the eggs has hatched, but it’s still a lot of work for mum and dad to feed them all.
4th May 2018 – Camera 1
A little earlier than we initially thought the Great Tit eggs hatched, what a fantastic surprise. At the moment we’re unsure how many of the 10 eggs have hatched, we normally try to count the little yellow beaks. The parents will now both start feeding with small flies, caterpillars and the insects.
26 April 2018 – Camera 1
The Great Tits have continued producing eggs and we are now up to 10!! It looks like the female Great Tit started sitting on them over the weekend, so we may see chicks during the May bank holiday.
16 April 2018 – Camera 1
Wow, what a surprise this morning to find that the Great Tit has produced 4 eggs. We’re not sure how many more we will see, but normally 1 more is added each day.
10 April 2018 – Camera 1
It seems that there has been a huge amount of activity with the Great Tits busily building over the Easter holiday. Lots of new nesting material has been brought into the box by both the male and female birds.
10 April 2018 – Camera 2
We’ve seen no activity in this bird box since last year when we had tree bees move in. You can see the remains of a few bits of straw, but also the bees nest looking like a muddy lump. When we know that the birds are definitely not going to nstt we will try to retrieve this for the pupils to take a look at.
27 March 2018 – Camera 1
For the first time we’ve spotted two Great Tits in the bird box. It looks like they are both getting ready to start nesting properly soon.
27 March 2018 – Camera 2
Well we’ve not spotted any major bird activity in box two after the initial theft of the nesting materials, however, something keeps moving things about. Do let us know if you spot anything.
22 March 2018 – Camera 1
Whilst things appear to be going slowly in the nest box, we have seen quite frequent morning visits by a Great Tit and she spends most nights in there.
22 March 2018 – Camera 2
After the initial visits from Blue Tits stealing materials we’ve seen very little in the way of birds. We are however, keeping a close eye as there has been some
8 March 2018 – Camera 1
After a week of very cold weather nest building has slowed, although we have seen visits by the Great Tit to the bird box.
8 March 2018 – Camera 2
Blue Tits have been again in Box 2, but we are not sure what they are up to. They have made quite a hole in last years nest material and been seen removing some from the box. Are they just stealing material to use elsewhere?
6 February 2018 – Camera 1
Well last night our Great Tit was back roosting in the box. We’ve had some very cold nights and they’ve been tucked down in the corner, sometimes with just her tail visible. Hopefully as the box continues to be prepared more of the cobwebs from the last few months will continue to be cleared.
1 February 2018 – Camera 1
We were really excited to see that one of the Great Tits spent the night in the box last night. Will she be back tonight? Watch this space…
30 January 2018 – Camera 1
Well what a surprise this morning. We were hoping to clean the old material out of the bird box in preparation for this year and what do we see on the camera? A Great Tit adjusting the nesting materials. Unfortunately we’re going to have to live with the few spiders webs this season as we can’t disturb them now.
Winter 2017 (latest news first).
We continue to have occasional visits from spider and insects during the winter. The tree bumblebees spent several weeks in the box, but didn’t seem as active as we had hoped. This will be the last update before the boxes are prepared for the Spring nesting season.
22-May-2017 – Bird Box Camera 2.
Now that Box 1 is empty, we have switched over to our second live camera (above). Although we only had a Blue Tit checking out the residence very early in March, we do have other unexpected activity in the box. We have a nest of Tree bumblebees that have made their home under the straw and near a spider that lives mainly behind the camera. This box is well out of the vicinity of the school children, however, we will be keeping a close eye on it for everyones safety.
Well this will be out last entry about the Great Tits for 2017. At 9:30 this morning the remaining baby birds fledges successfully and within a few minutes all had left the box to start their lives in the big wide world. It was another successfully year for them and although two didn’t make it to adulthood 7 is still a very good number for the parents.
There has been a lot of wind flapping from the young birds over the last 48 hours as they strengthen their muscles ready for their first flight outside of the bird box. Earlier today and much to our surprise one of the young popped up to the exit and made a break for freedom, so we expect the others to leave at anytime.
From what we have been able to count all 9 eggs hatched and the parents continue to feed pretty much constantly from dawn to dusk.
Even though we have suffered some unseasonal cold weather over the last few days, the Great Tits have hatched with mum and dad beginning the task of feeding the chicks.
We were very pleased to see that over the Easter holidays the Great Tit has been very busy. We believe that she is now incubating 9 eggs and occasionally can be seen turning them over.
Box 2 which looked as thought it would see some nest building action has been limited to spiders and bees. We are pleased to see nest building has begun in box 1, with a Great Tit bringing in straw and grass over the past few days and this morning some gold coloured hair.
Our successful bird box 2 is up and running live for 2017. Once again we have seen some disturbance in the material left in there from the end of the 2016 season. This box successfully fledged a number of Blue Tits last year, so we are hopeful for a mother nesting pair in 2017.
Here we are in the depths of winter with biting easterly winds and we can hear the Great Tits starting to call. At the feeders pairs of Blue Tits can also be seen and others species are already starting to pair up for the 2017 breeding season.
Spring & Summer 2016 (latest news first):
11-June: We are pleased to say that four of the Blue Tits successfully fledged. Unfortunately the fifth didn’t make it out and passed away peacefully.
6-June: What a great surprise for our return from the half term break. We have five Blue Tits chicks all of which are doing well and being fed by both parents.
25-May: We have excellent news. We can confirm that our Blue Tit has had a number of eggs hatch. Although these are still deep in the nest, we can see at least two chicks.
24-May: There is certainly a flurry of activity in and out of the Blue Tit box this morning with one of the pair of birds bringing in small insects – has something hatched? Only time will tell as anything in the box is tucked deep in the nest.
23-May: Over the weekend we are pleased to announce that our Great Tit chicks successfully fledged the nest. We hope to bring you some pictures from the outside of the box shortly, unfortunately the camera cable was damaged Thursday evening so we lost pictures of them leaving from the inside.
21-May: We have switched over to the second camera for the weekend. Tucked right at the bottom of the box the Blue Tit is sitting, but we’re not sure if she has eggs. If she has and they hatch we will be following the young from hatching to fledging.
19-May: It looks like the Great Tits will be ready to leave the box over the coming day or two. There has been less wing stretching and flapping than previous years, however, one or two of the birds have been up to the exit to take a look out – we’re not sure if anyone has gone as the box is quite crowded.
15-May: The Great Tits continue to grow at a very rapid pace enjoying a high protein diet of flies and bugs. Most have lost their fluffy baby feathers and are starting to gain some colour.
1-May: We were really pleased to see that the ten Great Tit eggs hatched over the weekend. Mother and father can be seen popping in and out of the box feeding them during the day.
26-April: Our Blue Tit continues to build her nest in the new nest box installed this year. We think that she may be a young bird and quite inexperienced as a nest builder. Hopefully she will tidy things further so that we can see her sitting. Our Great Tit continues to incubate the eggs and occasionally gets feed from her male partner.
18-April: Unfortunately over the weekend our Robins nest was destroyed by a predator. It is not unusual for a Robin to build more that one nest each year so fingers crossed she has more success next time. In better news, the Great Tit is sitting on 10 bright white eggs which we hope will hatch in about two weeks.
12-April: Wow, the birds have been busy. A Blue Tit has been busy weaving a nest in our second bird box which will be shown above occasionally. Hopefully she will tidy up the material from in front of the camera soon.
11-April: The Great Tit now has four eggs which have been spotted under the nesting material – we think that the yellow fluff is from a local tennis court from the balls.
26-March: Our Great Tit continues to roost overnight and add material. We are now seeing soft materials such as hair appear so this could be getting towards the time she starts to settle in to lay her eggs.
24-March: It doesn’t matter how much you plan and give your birds
a nice home to live in, they always find somewhere odd to nest. Can you spot a festive favourite in here? We only spotted her today, but will be putting a cordon around her so that she can sit on her eggs in peace.
22-March: Nest building is well underway. Today we have spotted quite a bit of soft material being being brought into the box including pale hair.
20-March: Wow someone has been busy over the weekend with a huge amount of moss and leaves in place ready for nesting.
16-March: After much tapping on the outside of the box a Blue Tit popped its’ head inside looking for a nesting site earlier today. Thankfully the Great Tits were not at home.
15-March: This morning we have seen a big cleanup in the box of bugs and spiders.
14-March: The Great Tit has started to bring in some moss for nest building.
13-March: We have had a Great Tit roosting overnight in the box, a good sign.