Saturday, 19 May 2012

Hard Hat and a Crown of Thorns

The Swallows on the farm near the East Coast Nature Reserve are back and well advanced into the breeding season: five eggs is a full clutch, but what's unusual is the choice of nest site..

Definitely safety first, this hard hat hanging from a nail on a beam in the farm shed is as safe a nest site as a hard hat can be!

Risk is very much part of the nesting season: weather, cats, people, predators, its a real challenge.

Our Blue Tits are in a box on a wooden frame that surrounds an oil tank, about 2 meters up and the box is flanked by thorny Pyracantha. 

I got a fright one day last week when I saw the adopted tabby cat was back to its old tricks, sitting up on top of the box.. This happened a few years back when the box was sited up a Sycamore tree with a holly growing through it..

This time out I weaved some bramble cuttings through the area around the box to discourage the cat.. so far so good, the Blue Tits are delivering green caterpillars to the young at a rate of about one a minute.. incredible!  About another week of this and the brood will be ready to fledge, all going well.

Blue Tit bringing caterpillar to the nestbox

Removing a faecal sac from the nest

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