Monday, 26 May 2008

Chicks hatch for BBC Springwatch

Blue tit chicks have hatched in our Nestbox with a camera just in time for BBC Two’s Springwatch for 2008 which starts tonight at 8pm from its new home at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve near Fakenham in Norfolk.


This morning we have three chicks and five eggs in our Nestbox. Just as in Springwatch we have had our own dramas in our Nestbox. Last year we had eight chicks which all died after a week as caterpillars were not available due to a hot April. This was so sad to watch at the end. You can see my diary for 2007 here with video and photos.

This year the drama was more a case of would the blue tits choose my Nestbox with our without a camera. You can read the full story for 2008 here.

However, I have been singing the praises of the male this year saying he was much more attentive! I am a tad worried now though as this morning it very much appears that the female is having to leave the nest to go out and get food for the chicks herself. Where is he? I don’t know if she will manage to do this by herself. She is still incubating the other eggs too as well as keeping the new chicks warm. I wonder if the male has left my garden in search of food for himself. The female really needs him back to help or once again she will loose her chicks due to lack of food.

Starlings have been causing a great deal of trouble at my feeders – even the ones hidden in ivy for the blue tits. I slowed up in refilling my feeders to discourage them a little. I have lost many of the other smaller species like the finches as they were unable to get near the feeders. Now the starling juveniles are out and about too and squawking their sharp long beaks off! I do know that the starling is endangered here in the UK and my plan is not to exclude them in favour of the ‘cute’ little birds. I just don’t want to the starlings to exclude all the other birds at my feeders! Surely they can learn to share?

The photo above was taken in my camera nestbox on May 26th 2008.

12 comments:

Mo said...

Nice to catch up on the blue tit's progress over the past few weeks. And looking forward to a good few relaxing hours of Springwatch too.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Just this weekend I was telling a friend about your blog and the Blue Tits. I was wondering if your Blue Tits had hatched as our Wrens have hatched and are now moving about inside their nest box. Both the male and female House Wrens are busily bringing worms and spiders to their chicks. I hope the papa Blue Tit comes back to help.

garden girl said...

I hope the dad returns to help care for those babies! They're so tiny and helpless. Thank you for documenting and sharing their progress Shirl!

easygardener said...

Good luck with your blue tit chicks.
Something has destroyed the nest in my blue tit box. Very upsetting.

Nancy J. Bond said...

How exciting! It didn't take long for them to incubate; I was surprised you had chicks already. So much fun to share your view. :)

Barbara said...

I hope the male will come back and fullfill his duty too ;-)!! I cross my fingers, that all the chicks will survive this year (and the mother will find enough to feed them!).

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Hi Shirl, I was watching springwatch tonight and they went to a viewers bluetit box and I was half expecting Bill Od to say Shirls, yours is much more exciting than theirs, I'm sure you'll be on there at some point.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - do hope the male returns - I've been totally inspired by watching your camera shots from inside the nest box I think I'm going to have to get one myself for next year - we've actually had a family of blue tits and great tits in each of our boxes and all have flown the nest already - perhaps we'll get a second sitting as it's this early!

You might enjoy the pics I got of a water vole yesterday - very exciting as you never manage to get that close normally!

Take care - Miranda

Crafty Green Poet said...

how lovely that the chickshave started hatching out of the eggs! The photos of the female bluetit in the earlier post are adorable.

shirl said...

Hi again Mo, Lisa, garden girl, easygardener, Nancy, Barbara, Mike, Miranda and Juliet :-)

Mo – Yes, things are moving along with the nest but I am still not certain how many chicks there are. I do keep seeing six but the other two could still be there too. I hope you are enjoying Springwatch. It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the presenters and be able to follow the families there too. Have a great weekend :-D

Lisa – Gosh the story has passed across the miles. Great to hear about your wrens. I did see the photos on your blog and I will be back to see more and leave a comment the next time! Nope it is really unlikely that the male will return now – but hey this whole story has had twists so you never know! Have a great weekend :-D

garden girl – I would like to see that too but I doubt something has happened to him now. He did appear to be much more involved than the male of last year. I also had no doubt that he would have been good at finding food. They are tiny and helpless but birds like this can survive so we will try and be positive for them all. I am glad you are enjoying reading about them. Have a great weekend :-D

easygardener – Thank-you. Oh, sorry to hear about the chicks in your Nestbox. Perhaps starlings have been at your box too. It is upsetting there is no doubt about that. Have a great weekend :-D

Nancy – It is to get to this stage. What would really be exciting would be to see some (preferably all) chicks grow to fledge! Incubation took twenty days and the female took many naps on the nest during the day. Now I don’t see her do that at all. I am glad you are enjoying following their story. Have a great weekend :-D

Barbara – Sorry but the male is unlikely to return now. Thank-you for you good wishes – I hope the female will find enough food too. She just has to find where I have hidden some for her - based on where I have seen her search! Have a great weekend :-D

Mike – LOL an interesting thought! I hope you are enjoying watching Springwatch too. They certainly have lots of nests this time. I love the coal tit one – so many chicks too. Have a great weekend :-D

Miranda – As I have said above it does seem unlikely that the male will return now. I’d love to see him again as he was quite a little character. However as long as the great and coal tit are seen at the feeders, ivy and hedge I know he is not out there – he would be chasing them away! I think with all the birds nesting in boxes in your garden a camera box would be a great idea. It is completely different when you are watching your own. Yes, you never know your nestboxes may get used again this year! That would be good to see. That was a treat for you to see the water voles – what great photos you captured too! Have a great weekend :-D

Juliet – It is great to get to the stage of the chicks hatching. We just want to see them get stronger now. The female is a pretty bird. I am glad you enjoyed the photos. Have a great weekend :-D

nick parker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shirl said...

Hi there Nick :-)

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the recent Springwatch programme - so did I :-D

Sorry, I have removed your comment. I have only done this to protect you as you gave your name and address :-)

I completely understand that you would like an autograph of Bill and Kate. However, although I mentioned the programme in my posting, I have nothing to do with this programme or the BBC.

Tonight I have been looking through the BBC webpages for the programme on your behalf. I cannot see any direct places you can put your request.

What I would suggest now is that you send a self adressed envelope to BBC Springwatch with a letter saying how much you enjoyed the programme and asking if you could get signed photos. I am sure the press office would have some to send out.

Good luck in getting them :-D