Thursday, 8 May 2008

Let the count begin…

If you are a regular visitor you may have guessed by now that my estimate of an egg in our Camera Nestbox on Monday was well out. Our nesting blue tits have been ten days behind last year. However I really did feel that they would eventually catch up.

You will also be very aware of the hard work our nesting female has made of making her nest and it was hard to tell for sure that she would ever complete it. However, since Monday she has made excellent progress!





The photos in the montage above were taken left to right starting on May 2nd with the last taken on the 5th. The larger photo was taken on May 6th. All photos were taken between 7.30am and 9am. During the day the condition of the nest would change. The female is still roosting and you can now see that she has finally made the cup of her nest.

To line the nest cup she has brought in what looks like hair of some sort and short strands of wool. The odd small feather has come in too. It really is a work of art! Yesterday didn’t see too much difference to the nest but in the evening she was more unsettled as she roosted. So what about this morning….




I am absolutely EGGSTATIC to announce that we have the first egg for 2008!! Sorry, I kept you waiting for this news… a break in internet connection during posting hasn’t helped! Anyway back to the nest…

This morning I was very lucky to see the egg as clearly as you can see in the photo above. Just 45 mins later when I looked in the Nestbox it was covered again and then again until the last photo below shows it just over two hours later. I did look again in the nestbox around lunchtime and the egg was completely hidden!









Now, if I hadn’t looked in first thing this morning I really would not have seen there was an egg there at all. Early evening the egg became more visible for a while again prior to the female settling down and roosting over it.

So what has she been doing in the nest today? Same old same old… bring material in and out and shuffling in the nest. Although, I have to say she has longer periods away from the nest now. I expect she will be enjoying her freedom for the next week or so.


Blue tit hides egg with a shuffle, video 0:15 with background music, try 480p quality.


The video above shows her shuffling over her egg. Now the count has started and I wonder how many eggs she will lay. We had eight last year so I guess it will be around that number. I so hope they all hatch and the chicks survive this year – fingers crossed.



The photos and video shown above were taken from my Camera Nestbox.

7 comments:

Cinj said...

That is so exciting! It's been a long time coming, hasn't it? DO you think she'll still be doing all that shuffling once she has young ones to take care of?

Carol said...

Anticipation. I'm looking forward to more updates.

Jane Marie said...

Fascinating!

Nancy J. Bond said...

Not only exciting, but absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing your video and photos of something we'd not likely see otherwise. I can't wait to follow their progress!

artistsgarden said...

That is so cool!
Regards
Karen

Border Reiver said...

Hi Shirl, lets hope by the end of next week there's a full clutch. Will be great keeping up to date with the BT's antics.

As the saying goes, "one egg isn't an oeuf"

Have a good weekend

shirl said...

Hi there Cinj, Carol, Jane Marie, Nancy, Karen and Border :-)

Cinj – Yes, if this pair had decided on the Arch Nestbox it would have been such a shame. Seeing the nest finally completed and eggs in it really is quite exciting. The shuffling will continue for a while yet. I think it stops when the chicks start to hatch. Have a great weekend :-D

Carol – It really is, especially for us hoping the chicks will survive to successfully fledge this year. I’m looking forward to my future posts too. Have a great weekend :-D

Jane Marie – Oh yes… and let’s hope we’ve lots more to see. Have a great weekend :-D

Nancy – It really is amazing that we can see this. Thanks go to a tiny camera and some natural daylight! You are very welcome and it is great that we can share our nest in this way. Progress does move on quite quickly once the chicks are here – I can’t wait either! Have a great weekend :-D

Karen – I agree and to see the chicks with their ‘really’ cool spiky feathered heads as they grow in our own Nestbox would be just brilliant. Have a great weekend :-D

Border – I hope so too! Today I watched her lay the second egg live. Fingers crossed for more. Thanks, wishing you a great weekend too :-D