I know it’s a couple of months until Spring is officially with us but I spent a few moments yesterday afternoon checking on on our bird boxes and feeders in the garden.
A bit of dusting here and there, a replacement screw or two and we’re back in business, although I will have to replace the niger seed feeder as the sun has made the plastic brittle, and it won’t last much longer.
We’ve had birds nesting in our garden every year we’ve lived in this house and they normally raise several broods. Here’s to another successful year.
This is our “Sparrow” nesting box. It’s on the side of our garage, and was built for House Sparrows to nest in. The theory being, that as House Sparrows are communal nesters, the box with it’s three separate chambers (there are dividing walls between eat entrance hole), would be attractive to them. It has never housed a single Sparrow, nor have I ever seen a Sparrow showing the remotest interest in the box.
That’s not to say that we don’t get a good showing of House Sparrows in the garden. They are here most days, either feeding from one of the feeders or tables in the garden or bathing in our pond. They just prefer the hedge between us and our neighbour to nest in, or behind the fascia boards on the front of our house, or the tall hedge on the other side of our road. In fact probably anywhere that isn’t the “Sparrow” box.
That’s not to say that the box doesn’t get used, in fact I think it’s been used every year apart from the first year we put it up (about six or seven years ago), and last year, when Blue Tits found a gap under the eaves of the garage and nested in there. Only one entrance hole is used though, there’s no communal nesting going on. This year it appears it’s going to be the turn of the Great Tits again. I’ve been watching them scope out the options (left, right or middle), and they seem to have plumped for the left. They’ve been carrying nesting material in all afternoon, undeterred by the rain and hail showers!
In previous years it’s been either Blue Tits or Great Tits, no other species have shown an interest, and certainly never a House Sparrow.
Great to see the box being used, but just don’t tell the Sparrows, they might want a look in after all!
The Robin in our garden is still faithfully sitting on her eggs. Having done a bit of online research I now know that it is the female that sits on the eggs alone, and it takes 13 days for them to hatch. So assuming that when we first noticed her was last Saturday, 6th June, we are likely to have baby birds sometime this week.
As she is so exposed, we’re keeping watch but from a distance, so as not to disturb her. Her preference for this nest is completely different to the blue tits who we had nesting earlier in the season. They managed to find a gap in the side of the garage, and chose to nest there. It means we have no idea how many young they had, as other than the chirps of the young, and the parents tooting and froeing you wouldn’t have known they were there, unlike the blue tits from last year, who used the sparrow box, and you could see the young, sticking their heads out, now and again.
I seem to have been visited a lot by Robins this year so far. There is an ever present Robin, whenever I’m weeding on the allotment [I don’t to be honest know if it’s the same bird, or there are a multitude of them, taking it in turns to feed on the small insects an grubs I disturb when weeding].
And now we seem to have one nesting in the garden or rather brooding eggs.
The nest is one that we put up, but to this point has never been used, and has been there so long, it’s falling apart. We’ll keep an eye on them from a distance.