Checking Nest Boxes

In January I made some small nest boxes. Of the five with 28mm holes we put up in Allerthorpe Common nature reserve, three are now occupied. A member of the Allerthorpe volunteer group is a BTO bird ringer, so he’s checking the boxes, but I was able to accompany him last week. He stuffs a cloth in the hole before opening the box, so any sitting bird cannot fly off. A disturbed great tit is likely to abandon the nest, so if the box is occupied he just shuts it again, removes the cloth and quietly moves away.  I photographed a clutch of a dozen blue tit eggs in one of the boxes, in a beautifully constructed nest decorated with orange and green wool.

Blue tit nest in one of the new boxes

Another of the new boxes is in my garden and also occupied by a blue tit, currently incubating eggs. The bird was in when I tried to inspect the box, so I just closed the lid again and withdrew quietly.

Nest box at the end of my garden

Rooks arrival at 05:00

 Feeding frenzy at 05:30

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