Beautiful sun here and more visits this morning. This time the "house" box, which is the last box that hadn't had a "double" visit. Looks like the male managed to entice the female inside this one as well, so now that is all three boxes that have been "shown around" to a prospective tenant! The big question of course is whether this is the same pair in all three boxes or not, and I really can't answer that.
Pic not so great - this camera needs refocusing so I will have to get the camera out and sort it out one of these nights. Female swapped with male in the box shortly after this still:
It looks like one box in particular is getting the most interest now - visits for the last three days, whilst the other two haven't had a visit for four days. This is the same box as last year, but in a different location with a new camera, but with less of a view (no entrance hole) than the other two cameras. Typical! Here's a short montage of 5 visits today. Male first, female later and the female is definitely showing a bit more interest now. I wouldn't quite say full "nest wriggles" but a couple of little wing flaps at least!
Certainly the first time she's done any sort of wriggle Sammi, so I'll take it! Not perhaps a full wing stretch and flutter but I think the intention might have been there Still keep reminding myself that we hadn't had a single visit by this date last year.. (27th Feb was our first, although box didn't go up until the second week of Jan). I just hope these poor birds don't jump the gun and get hammered by a late winter blast. Hawthorn is leafing already here and some blossoms are out on the trees as well.. (not sure which - cherry maybe).
Nice video Matt, I wouldn't worry about it being early, It was only so late last year before of the cold. Seasons always start in march for most us, That is only days away. Normally when a bird is an early starter they will bring material in slow and not get really going until they need too. In 2017 I had blue tit start building 10th March and was really slow building didn't pick up until end of march, Then I had one start 20th March who had her nest complete within days. In my experience if a bird starts early she will take a while to build that nest fully, Where as the late starts really crack down and get it done within days. This time of year isn't that "early" for the activity most of us are seeing, Its pretty normal when your having a mild winter. Last year was just a different season due to the incredible cold February and March we had!
Yes Matt, I'd call that a wriggle for sure. Most wriggles this early on are "half hearted" normally you get the big ones full wings etc when material as been brought in or its about to. So I would class that as wriggles.
Visits have slowed again, although I am still getting look-in-through-the-holes. This pattern seems to match last year, albeit much earlier this year. So maybe the decision has been made, and they are off to get into condition before nesting? It's a bit annoying as I have just upgraded two of my boxes with microphones so I really want to test them out! Did get a quick in and out to one of the boxes today, but no singing inside or hole tapping. Mic did record the faint sound of footsteps and the wriggle through the hole on the way out though so it works!
Ha! I've had a few big flies in mine that set the motion trigger off, but that was before the mics were hooked up. Yeah, even the RSPB site says that they check things out then "go missing" for a few weeks to fatten up. Exactly the same happened last year, except early visits were feb and they went missing in March before coming back in April. So - famous last words - I am somewhat confident that they like at least one of the boxes now.
Slightly different topic, but last year I had quite a few visits from great tits looking through the hole. Not a sign of them this year, I wonder why?
Maybe you just don't have a good great tit population locally Matt, To be honest the great tit population in my little area is shockingly bad. I only see 2 on the feeders regularly where we get around 6 blue tits daily.
Yeah, probably right Paul but I did at least have a few checking the boxes out last year (hole was too small at that point, but it is bigger now). I have seen precisely one GT this year on the feeder in total so we are not exactly overrun with them! Be nice to mix it up a bit though..
I dont get Great tits regularly visit but twice a pair have tried to get in the tree box, but the hole is too small. Makes me wonder whether to put one up suitable next year for them in the tree and take the BT one down as they have 2 others to select from Will see what happens this season.
Visits to two of the boxes this morning, one of which looked like it might be a new female (hard to say, just a "hunch" that she wasn't the same bird as before). Got a nice pic of a male chatting to a female just outside the box: