That's what I'm thinking Paul. First nice (sunny) day in quite a while, with a chill in the air. Quite a few birds flitting around the place this morning. I've got a robin who has taken up residence outside my office in a young apple tree - sits there and sings a lot in the mornings. I'm thinking a robin box behind the hedge, attached to the fence (near the tree in question).
Same here Matt, Its sunny but chilly, Getting down to 3c overnight with the clear skies here in Liverpool apparently. So will feel really chilly later.
I currently have 3 blue tit roosters, I think 2 are a pair over the back garden, I have female who's brought fair bit of nest material into the side view box since August she is still roosting everynight and keeping the nest box clean. Down the wall from that we have a male rooster, I have noticed the female and male come in around same time though, Lastnight when female came in another blue tit come to the box and she just tweeted to it and it fly away and next minute our male rooster came in. Then we have a blue tit roosting over in the front in another side view box, It only started roosting lastnight so i'll have to see if cleans the box today to see if its male or female.
Finally got the revamped house box from last year back up! This has had a lick of paint on the outside, and is now positioned on our side alley (NE facing, so perfect). It is near a small hole in the wall (ex gas pipe) which had a sparrow nest in it last year. I will have to work out how to block this up but for now it is a handy way to get the wire into the attic. As I was getting the wire in, bits of moss fell out and there are actually bird poos on the insulation in the attic near the inside of the hole. So birds must have been nesting in the cavity but coming out to explore the attic at some point! I never noticed that before.
Here's a pic. I'm quite optimistic about this box; good position, nice height (2.5m) and some history of nesting in the area. Sparrow or bluetit (or anything!), I am not fussy.
Camera is on with motion detect, hopefully I will have something to report soon.
It would be great souldn't it! You can see the hole that the sparrows were using earlier this year, top right of the picture. Unfortunately I couldn't put the box exactly over the hole because of the gas pipe and the roof - the gap is too small. This is pretty close, hopefully close enough. I'll cover the hole somehow - even if it is just with tape - to try and get them to go in the box (also, much as I love them, I don't really want them nesting in the cavity again!!).
A real flurry of activity this morning, including very brief visits to three of our four boxes. I've often whinged about general lack of bluetits in our garden, but this morning all of a sudden we had 8-10 bluetits (hard to count), at least 2 great tits, a handful of goldfinches plus sparrows and a resident robin, all trying to get on the feeders and diving around the hedge and trees. That lasted for about half an hour, during which time the boxes were visited. I've never seen the bluetits going round in a mini flock like this - it was good to see so many of them. Perhaps the cold snap has focused their minds a bit on food sources and roosting sites.. Also we have a robin that has taken up residence very near to the main biord feeder, and he has become quite territorial - always chasing any other birds away if they dare try and have a feed. Not always successfully, mind you.
Update: 6 visits in total now to the new box in the alley, so they have found it at last. Haven't actually gone inside yet, but the motion detector is obviously working well and I do have a couple of pics of beaks/heads just poking in the hole. Hopefully one will build up the courage to go right in soon so I can get a proper test of the new camera setup..
matt sounds like we are sharing the an increased numbers of blue tits, which is unusual here, i was so excited to have 3 boxes with visits all at the same time, im sitting watching to see if it happens agin today. enjoy your visits and increased activity.
Glad to hear you are seeing more as well! I was vaguely aware that bluetits started to flock together a bit more over winter, but I have not seen the numbers I saw today in our garden before. Either there are more of them about, or our garden is a bit more attractive to them this year - or both! Hopefully a sign of good things to come, as over the past winter I could have sworn we only had a single pair locally as I the most I ever saw at one time was two. Interesting that the "flock" also contained at least two great tits, and that some goldfinches arrived with them as well.
looking good, hopefully yours and mine will stick around through the winter,ive only had one pr bluetits and a pr of great tits, now i have their fledgings plus a lot more. i counted 22 mix of both going between two trees, im just waiting for the colder weather when they come to the feeders, i only get one or two at one time. good luck Matt
Here's a pic of a very quick inspection this morning - first to the "alley" box. I don't get as much of the entrance hole in camera view any more, but should get a higher res view of any nest - if it happens!
A couple more visits today, and the first visit since spring to the box on the side of the shed. This is the box that had a nest two seasons ago, it didn't get a camera upgrade this year. This is also the first time a bird has gone right inside any of our boxes since spring, which was cool. All four boxes have had visits now in the past week:
Great news Matt, you deserve having the birds show interest, you have worked hard preparing for the spring.Enjoy all the visits. Ive been away the last 3 days, so im looking forward to watching tomorrow I'm hoping that its a colder week ahead they will be busy on the feeders.
Thanks all. Yes, good start to the season, if you can even call it that, and maybe we'll actually get a rooster this year? Should be a good week for it coming up with cold and dry conditions. Amanda, yes all my boxes have LEDs in them now. This box doesn't have the upgraded camera but it did get a new one last year, so better than the camera that was in there two seasons ago for the nest.
First visits to the boxes for a while today, after whinging about lack of visits yesterday! The local winter flock of bluetits descended on the garden for a go on the feeders, a wash in the pond and a quick look at the boxes. There is about 12 of them together now that seem to turn up every few days, and a smaller flock of long tailed tits also doing the rounds.
Here's a vid of one - even a little nest wriggle towards the end!
Matt he seems really happy with the box Matt, hope all the birds, stay close by and visit your garden often.
ive had lots of interest in my boxes of late, i actually had a bluetit go into my sideview box yesterday and stay for sometime, i feel a good spring is on the way seems promising for residents for my boxes, ive no sign of any birds using them to roost in
i love the long tail tits, on the odd occasion i have them pass through on the feeders, but not regular visitors, which is a shame