Sunday, 10 May 2009

Ready, steady, go…

Ready… is this Blue tit finally ready and willing to lay eggs in our Arch Nestbox? This morning she didn’t seem sure if it should go in the Nestbox or not. I wonder if she ever made a nest before. I’m not sure she has the timing right for building a nest this year. I do beleive it is on the late side. Anyway, this morning she spent ages looking around with material in her mouth. She was first noticed on the obelisk in the border behind my small pond.





Nope… she didn’t go in the direction of the nestbox. Up she flew to a tall branch of my bamboo beside the feeders. She swayed up there a little while considering her next move.




Next she flew down to an almost hidden branch on my small Pine tree that has a peanut feeder on it. She hid there a while, still not dropping any material. I then began to wonder if she might go into our Camera Nestbox… no such luck.



Finally after hanging on the entrance of the Arch Nestbox a while she went inside. Sometimes after an egg is laid the female will go and collect some soft material to cover the egg. Perhaps this is what she was doing this morning. We never saw her about after this. Fingers crossed she may have eggs.

Steady... was the night camera on the tripod in my garden tonight. It was set to capture any night activity in this area tonight. My Friday posting showing the popularity of this waterhole (shallow plastic plant saucer with water and a few pebbles and rocks at the edges) with my visiting birds which can be seen here if you missed it. Tonight, I have been watching for another visitor that I never considered would also pop by for a drink here. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise really.



Last night, I spotted a small hedgehog about to explore the rock face above my pond when I went outside to get some grass for our young guinea pigs (4wks old now) before I went to bed. What a surprise it was to see it on the rocks. It was taking it steady… meanwhile I ran quickly in for my camera. By the time I returned I found that it had found the waterhole saucer! You can see it is a young Hedgehog by its size. What a little beauty it was!




The young Hedgehog scuttled off into the foliage of this border. I stood very still and watched it (the outside light lit the border a little) as it made its way about. It was a windless night so the foliage of the plants had been still so it was easy to watch where the hedgehog was going as the leaves moved around it. It was funny to see.



Eventually, it made its way back up the other side of the rocks towards the waterhole again. Unfortunately, only being 9.30pm, my daughter knocked at the back door to ask me something and the little hog ran off again. I didn’t see where it went but decided to leave it in peace anyway. I was thrilled with my sighting and hoped the photos would come out okay. I was thrilled with them and to be able to share them here. I'm looking forward to seeing many more hedgehog visits this year.



Go… tonight we hit the button for a change that I have wanted to make to my blog for ages. November had been my target (heading into year three of my blog) but the timing wasn’t right then to work on it. I am absolutely thrilled this is a ‘Go’ now and can’t thank my husband enough for working on this with me. I needed him for the real tech stuff! Poor man had much copying and pasting to do from my lists. I made new searches and found new links too.

Many of the Blog Links now in my new drop down menus were already listed in my sidebar but I suspect they weren’t used that much as the listing was quite long. I have removed them completely form the sidebar in the hope that this will also speed up the load time of my blog. I am also just showing a couple of postings at a time to help with this too. To browse older posings you’ll find them in the Archives.

I would really appreciate any feedback on the new link menus especially if you have problems. I am thrilled to get it working and hope you will find it useful as I know I will. Oh... I'll probably want to tweak them a little yet but sh... don't tell my husband. We'll let it run for the moment to try it out so please do tell me what you think..

The photos of the Blue tit female were taken on May 10th 2009. The photos of the Hedgehog were taken on May 9th 2009.

17 comments:

Midmarsh John said...

Two great series of photos with the Blue Tit and the Hedgehog.

Like the idea of the drop down menus.
I do have a slight display problem with them which I'll email you about.

Little Brown Job said...

Lovely shots of the Blue Tit collecting and the Hedgehog images are great.

I do most of my blog reading on the mobile and noticed with this last post that all the images show up whereas before only one or two would be displayed so your changes must be working :-)

ShySongbird said...

I really like the new drop down menus Shirl, I really, really do! I have not had time to check it all out yet, although I will investigate more soon, but I have already discovered your posts on planning and constructing your arbours and pergolas which I may have missed originally or forgotten, so this makes it so easy to check out particular things of interest. From what I can see everything is beautifully organised and easy to access and I haven't encountered any problems at all so far.

I won't mention the Blue Tits again as I mistakenly commented on them in your last post (no I wasn't able to see into the future and read this post before you wrote it!!) but the hedgehog photos are lovely and hopefully you will have more hoggy news as time goes on, I really will have to have a look around my garden at night.

easygardener said...

Lovely pictures. I have Blue tits nesting in my garden but they seem very scatterbrained. Instead of zipping quickly inside the box they fiddle around for ages. It's like they have forgotten what the nest box looks like each time they visit. Perhaps they are more competent than they look.I hope so ;-)

Joe said...

Hi Shirl,

I loved the new drop down menus. It definitely makes your blog more organised and impressive. I have already had a look through the lists and clicked on a few links.

Great to see some more hog stories. Your photos were brilliant. As far as I know, we don't have hedgehogs in our garden so its good to read about them in your blog.

Hmmm, interesting Blue Tit story there. They tend to take their time enetering our nestboxes too. Even though our Blue Tits appear to be nesting elsewhere now, we got a quick visit from a pair of Long-tailed Tits in our nestbox. See my most recent posting for more on that.

Great post, thanks for sharing

Liz said...

Lovely photos, I love the little Blue tit!

I wish we had hedgehogs, not seen any around here but I suspect it's too hilly and the gardens are tiered making it difficult cut them to get in!

shirl said...

Hi again John, Paul, ShySongbird, Denise, Joe and Liz :-) John – Thank-you, I was spoilt for choice with the Blue tit. It was absolutely ages hanging around before going in the nestbox. I was thrilled to get some of the hedgehog too. Great, as I said in my posting many of these links were already there but so far down than nobody would ever look for them. I have like the idea for a while but couldn’t decide how best to do it. We went for simple in the end in the hope everyone can use them. Thanks so much for all your helpful emails today. Great to hear we are sorted with this first problem now. Cheers :-D

Paul –Thank-you, it’s always a treat to capture action shots. Well almost, in the case of the hedgehog! Excellent, I’m thrilled that the changes are helping the load time. I know if I didn’t post so many photos and wrote shorter blogs that would help too but that is hard for me! Tonight I have removed the photo in my blog lists too so that should help further I’d guess. I always though it unfair that only ‘blogger’ blogs showed pics anyway :-)

ShySongbird – Thanks, I am thrilled with them myself. I will find them useful too as they were a long scroll down! No rush to browse as I’m leaving them up and adding more possibly anyway. I perhaps should only update once a week to give my OH a rest from copying and pasting all my lists. Yes, there are a few of my postings that I often look back on so this will make them much easier to find now. Thank-you, fingers crossed you will have no probs in the future with my changes. LOL… no probs with the BT’s it’s easy done. Yes… re hogs I’ll have to sort out this years feeding station and should relocate Hedgehog Manor away from the back door to a quieter spot and then maybe we will get a Mum making her nest there… now that would be one for a live stream ;-) Oh yes… I would definitely recommend night gardenwatching :-D

Denise – Thank-you, excellent news on the Blue tit front in your garden. I agree completely about them being a tad scatter brained but this one is behaving very oddly. Time will tell – hope we haven’t got another single Mum!!

Joe – Excellent, I was going for the more organised and more easily accessible for everyone. I am still gathering more links yet and will probably continue to do so for a little while yet. I added a feeder came from Ecuador tonight which I found fascinating to see the hummingbirds from my desk here in Scotland at the same time as I have a screen up watching for hedgehogs in my own garden. The power of the internet! Yep… a mystery I think Joe with our Blue tits. Sorry to hear yours have moved away too. Fascinating to hear that the LTT’s had a look in your box - that is unusual isn’t it. Glad you enjoyed this one. I want to get me last couple of patch posts out this week if I can. My daughter has started her exams so I’m guessing yours must be coming up soon. All the best with them :-D

Liz – Thank-you, it was a priceless moment or three watching the blue tit as it couldn’t decide what to do. Oh… don’t rule your tiered gardens out for hedgehogs – I do believe they are good little climbers! Perhaps if you put out peanuts and sultanas in a dish (or on the ground) in the evening and some water you might find they do pass through your garden. I’d suggest you put the food and water near a wall or fence as they seem to go around the perimeters looking for food and then run away across open spaces. Thanks so much for the favs on Blotanical I haven’t been there in a while but if you are new there you will find so many great blogs and a wealth of friendly bloggers. You could also get tips on your pond too. Sorry I haven’t been back to you on that – will do in the next couple of days. BTW loved your bumble and bluebell pics :-D

Mel said...

Hola Shirls,
That Blue Tit seems a bit confused... I wonder what's going on inside that box!
Keep us posted :)
Take care, besos,
Mel

Liz said...

I do hope your Blue Tits do end up nesting!

Hmmm sounds like a plan Shirl, I may just have to try putting out seeds/sultanas, we have Foxes, is it likely they’ll eat it instead? I know they will eat seeds/nuts but I’m not sure about the Sultanas.

I’d love to have Hedgehogs as I really could do with some help with the slugs/snails and sadly the song thrush only visits in winter! :)

No problem re:pond I may try your great idea of using a lid instead to get to grips with the whole pond thing and then move onto the real thing at a later date. It’s a shame because it’s pretty much the only thing Pete wants in the garden, only he’s unwilling to research into building one and maintaining it, so I do feel guilty that he’s unlikely to get one this year.

Dirt Princess said...

I want a hedgehog! They are so cute!!!!!!!!!!

Juliet said...

Great photos, Shirl - I love seeing birds with big beakfuls of nesting material like that, looking as though they have moustaches :-D

We have hedgehogs too, but I don't often get to see them close up - I usually tend to hear them in the night. And they leave us messages all over the garden - we have to go out with a plastic bag before we can mow the lawn!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - exciting to see some blue tit activity in your garden - really hope the little brood does well... we've had our own fair share of interesting goings on - see my latest posting - any thoughts? It's just pouring with rain as I write and I fear another day when I can't get out and cut my clients' gardens... never mind... could be worse I guess... how's it up in sunny Scotland? Take care Miranda

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Great captures of the bluetits with nest material Shirl, well done with those.

shirl said...

Hi again Mel, Liz, Dirt Princess, Juliet, Miranda and Mike :-)

Mel – Hola… not long now!! Yes, it did appear to be. Yes, I’m curious myself. I’ll know if there any chicks in there as we will see it busy feeding. Not seen much going on at the moment. Maybe she’s incubating eggs… who knows? No camera in there… typical eh :-D Wishing you a wonderful Wedding :-D

Liz – Yes, it would be nice to think some young came into the garden too. Some Blue tits already have chicks out and fledged … I saw one being fed near my feeders yesterday. This morning I’ve seen the invasion of young Starlings start too. Only two so far but I expect quite a few more if the numbers of adults visiting at the moment are anything to go by. I wouldn’t know about the foxes and sultanas… I do know they like honey sandwiches! Good luck with attracting hedgehogs to your garden :-D

Dirt Princess – Oh… I can understand why :-D

Juliet – Thank-you, so do I! Yes, the hedgehogs were leaving presents on my lawn before I knew what they were – I just thought they were from a big bird ;-) Little did I know… pre blog :-D

Miranda – Oh my… you could have a problem there. I do think the Woodpecker is trying to get at the Blue tit chicks. Hope Mum and Dad can protect them long enough for the Woodpecker to get bored and look else where! Yep… I feel for you with the rain. Our sunny spell stopped in time for my Bloom Day posting. There’s a strange thing though… my latest posting isn’t being shown via the blog feeds of some blogs. Don’t know what’s going on there. Wishing you some sunshine… sorry I’ve none to send you :-(

Mike – Thank-you, hope you had good weather for your trip to Scotland. Great Red Kite shots :-D

G L Wilson said...

Lovely photos!

Have a look at my own hedgehog photos and videos at: http://snufflehog.blogspot.com

shirl said...

Hi there GL :-)

Thank-you! Delighted you popped by as I have now discovered your blog :-D

Will be by very soon for a longer browse around. You’ve got lots of posts, pics and vids that my readers would enjoy too. Very disappointed to see you haven’t been getting any comments. I’ll see what I can do about that :-D

G L Wilson said...

Thanks Shirl. I figure it's still early days - the blog's only been going a few months - so it's not really established yet.

I do wonder sometimes how many times can I get away with posting pictures of hedgehogs feeding. I personally find the creatures fascinating!