A Blog From The Blue Tit Box – Week Three – Have They Gone Yet?

And now the concluding part of the Blue Tit nest box adventure 2014! Unlike last years tragedy everything seems to be going extremely well. Nine eggs (2 more than last yr) were laid from 27th April to 6th May which had all hatched out by Sunday 18th May. All nine chicks are still loudly chirping away 14 days later entering the final week. Just a slight concern over one chick that seems to have fallen behind the others, I’ve named him Tim. This is nature of course and if 8 out of 9 make it out then they’ll have been very successful. Here’s a quick summary of events with some dodgy photos and far better videos, it’s truly been fascinating watching their daily developments.

Quick reminder the nest box is situated in my small garden on the outside kitchen wall – having it on the inside wouldn’t work at all:-) Hidden in the roof is the camera which links to either my televison or laptop. It uses infrared in low light and at night which gives black & white images, whereas during the day colour depends on available light. The box came with small perspex side windows to allow full colour photography however I felt the birds weren’t keen so I covered these in winter. Next evening a female moved in to roost overnight and has happily stayed ever since. Viewing is limited to mornings and evenings due to work – until I get that lottery win.

Earlier blogs described Week One & Week Two, so now after all their hard work will the chicks make it out unscathed?

Day 14 after hatching – Sun 1st June 2014

Day 15 – Mon 2nd June 2014

Day 16 – Tues 3rd June 2014

Morning saw a sudden silence in the box, all chicks huddled low and parents chirping a warning nearby. Turned out to be a cat strolling nonchallantly through the garden. It’s become an increasingly noisy place in that box so the longer this process takes the more chance predators have of discovering them. As well as a birdtable both parents are on a timetable and it’s one they seem to follow independantly of the chicks progress. Fortunately this years chicks are keeping up and on Tuesday evening the mother didnt return to sleep in the box. She did this last year and 3 chicks died of cold by morning. This year it looks entirely understandable as the chicks are well developed and space is getting limited for 10 bodies trying to get a decent nights sleep. There’s always at least one chick itching, pruning or stretching.

Blue tit Nestbox Week 3

Tues evening at 7.10pm, 3.6.14 – already looking much bigger with well developed feathers

Day 17 – Wed 4th June 2014

Both parents returned early to start the feeding though one chick is definitely smaller than the others. It’s getting walked over but is still getting food and hanging on in there. I’ve called it Tim, not sure why.

Blue tit Nestbox Week 3_2

Wed morning at 8.15am, 3.6.14

Day 18 – Thurs 5th June 2014

Blue tit Nestbox Week 3_3

Thursday evening, 8.30pm, parents are feeding till after 9pm!

Blue tit Nestbox Week 3_4

Feeding Thursday evening, check out the videos for frenzied feeding action

Day 19 – Friday 6th June 2014

Each day the chicks looked noticeably more developed and today they finally looked ready. Lots of activity and movement in there with wing stretching, beating and curious chicks at last jumping up to the entrance hole to peek outside. Goodness knows what they made of the world, hope they didn’t notice my untidy garden as I haven’t mowed the lawn since they started nesting.

Blue tit Nestbox Week 3_6

8.10am Friday 6.6.14 and it’s getting very active in there!!

It was a sunny morning but if they were leaving today would they take Tim or would he be left behind!! Unfortunately after leaving for work I had to go away over the weekend and couldn’t return until Sunday night. Frustratingly the world would have to wait to find out.

Blue tit Nestbox Week 3_8

Sunny Friday morning 6.6.14 with a chick peeking out

Great videos taken today, the last ones!

Saturday had seen some electric storms which wouldn’t have helped. If Tim remained then how long could the parents return to feed him whilst trying to look after 8 fledglings out in the open. On Sunday I returned very late to check the camera and see the perfect image below. A silent empty box, they had all made it, Tim was free.

Blue tit Nestbox Week 3_9

Sun night 8th June -a silent empty Box, will miss them but great that all nine made it!

Summary

  • 24th March – nestbuilding starts
  • 27th April – first egg laid
  • 6th May – final 9th egg laid
  • 18th May – all hatched
  • 6/7th June – all fledged
  • Notice on the videos how their voices get deeper as the week progresses 🙂
  • Food was mainly caterpillars, grubs, greenfly/aphids and also some suet mix I’d put out for the adults.
  • Feeding went on till 9.30pm some nights taking advantage of long daylight.
  • Parents don’t return for another brood, the box will be full of fleas etc so I’ll clean it out for autumn by removing the nest & filling with boiling water, leaving to drain & dry.
  • Hopefully the female will roost from October.

Certainly been a priviedge watching these small birdies over the last few weeks and thank goodness the World Cup has now started as alternate entertainment 🙂

Here’s how my mobile looks with all the photos. See you all next year!

Mobile Wallpaper

Mobile Wallpaper

Links to Week One in the Blue Tit Box & Week Two in the Blue Tit Box

Link to the box supplier Handykam

PS: there’s now another nest in the garden, not quite as cute & exciting, they’re too big for the box, Woodpigeons! Still I’ve never seen a small baby Woodpigeon.

PPS: Hoping to be able to stream this live next time via Ustream or Earthcam, couldn’t get it working this spring in time. Will aslo try to improve the light and colour, all assuming they nest again.

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About MART IN THE HILLS

Hillwalker with dodgy knees and dodgier sense of humour. Lover of the outdoors, Lakes, Highlands, Cheviots, nature, good food, real ale and leaf tea.
This entry was posted in Random Stuff, Tit Cam - Blue Tit Nest and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Blog From The Blue Tit Box – Week Three – Have They Gone Yet?

  1. Barb Kidder says:

    I think he was Tim, as in Tiny Tim?? I am so glad he made it!! Hope they all survive the fledgling stage!

    • Thanks and I remember Tiny Tim the strange singer from ages ago. Certainly hope the birdies are tip toeing through the tulips right now 🙂 I choose to believe they will all be ok.

  2. Pingback: A Blog From The Blue Tit Box 2015 – Basic Instinct | MART IN THE HILLS

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