Friday, 13 April 2018

Baby Birds, Moths & A Social Run

We have blue tits nesting in the house. Well, inside the roof to be precise, in the small gap where a slate has slipped just below the apex. Aren't they inventive? I know they're there because I saw Mrs BT flying in with a beak full of nesting material (moss) yesterday. Mr BT was singing his head off on a branch nearby, which the males do while the females are nest building.

We've also got great tits nesting in one of the boxes on the garage wall. She hopped out for a wing stretch yesterday and seemed surprised to find me nearby. Quite why this should be so is a mystery to me because the nest box is very close to the house and I'm in and out past her front door all day long. I hear her tapping in there from time to time, as if she isn't fully happy with the way things are arranged.

The nuthatches are feeding babies. Both come to the garden, stock up on fallen sunflower seeds and head off back to the old oak. And the blackbirds are in and out all day grubbing up worms for their children.

The wrens have disappeared from the stream, so presumably are also nesting somewhere close by and both coal tits are back and forward from the feeders all day so must have a hole in the ground nearby where their children are secreted.

I await the return of our cuckoo. M heard one at work earlier this week, but so far, nothing here. Selborne, the BTO tagged cuckoo we follow every year who spends summer just down the road from us in the New Forest, is currently in France. But with better weather forecast this weekend he could be home any day. This year, we are resolved to see if we can go and find him in the forest, as friends of ours did with their children last year, being overjoyed to have actually heard him cuckooing! If you click his name it'll take you to the satellite map which shows where he and the other BTO tagged cuckoos currently are.

Out walking in the fields this week I came across the egg shell fragment you'll see on the book in the top photo. It's a blackbird, similar to song thrush but instead of having the specific black spots of the song thrush egg, it has a brown mottling. They are very common eggs to find at this time of the year so if you keep your eyes open you're bound to see one eventually.

Moth numbers are increasing with the warmer weather. For the past couple of nights we've had engrailed moths on the windows, quite big spring moths attracted to the light. If we get the promised warmer weather this weekend I might just put the moth box out and see what delights it attracts.

In other news, Poppy has a new boyfriend. Jim is a very handsome black spaniel who runs marathons. Poppy absolutely loved running with him this morning- the pair of them ran side by side on their leads while I, Jim's mum A and our friend L nattered. When we got off road the dogs went off their leads and had enormous fun chasing each other through the woods. Lovely. It was a nice, gentle, 5 mile run, perfect chatting speed, which was just right. Monday, another 20 miler is in the diary. After that I've got one more 20 mile run to do before the marathon, as well as a couple of competitive half marathons before I start to ease off the mileage in preparation for M Day at the end of May. Time is flowing away.....

Hope you're all well and looking forward to a good weekend,



  1. How lovely Poppy has a new friend. We have Blue tits, great tits and long tail tits all visiting the bird feeders but think they are nesting in the hedgerows. Our black birds are back in the hedge and we have sparrows nest building under the eaves as we see them darting in and out with nesting material. The Chaffinches are back but not sure where they have their nest but as they take in turns to come to the feeders I'm assuming they have a nest somewhere near by. We are waiting to see if the gold finches return and the swallows must be due anytime. I love seeing them at the bird tables/feeder I could while a way the hours watching them if I didn't have to work. Hope your continued marathon training continues to go well.


  2. Love hearing about all your birds. What a beautiful blue egg shell.
    Isn't nature so colorful.
    I love that Poppy has a new running friend. Don't they look so happy together in the photo.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. Typical male watching while the wife does the housework and makes things nice! And singing just adds insult to injury! I’m sure he is celebrating her good work and warding off predators... or more likely thinking wahoo it’s spring... and singing because it’s his lucky night!!!!!!! 😉 Mrs BT will likely tell him to get stuffed unless of course he gets off that branch and at least brings supper or a bunch of flowers! Honestly men!!!!! 🙄
    Glad Pops has a new friend... hope Ted doesn’t sniff out this new relationship! ☺️
    Happy running, weather looks better! ❤️

  4. Blue tits nest in a tiny hole in our nextdoor neighbours' house as well, it's amazing they fit. I saw great tits inspecting the nest box on our garage today, I live in hope. Poppy's new boyfriend is indeed very handsome, it sounds as if they had a lovely run. It's fantastic watching dogs run and play together isn't it. Good for the soul. Bert always likes to start the day by wrestling his (white) bestie down into the mud for a good five minutes. His mum always has to go home and wash him afterwards. Bert doesn't mind though, there's always tomorrow to sort him out again. Hope you have a good weekend, and a good run on Monday. And I hope you've got the doughtnuts ready. CJ xx

  5. What a wonderful post. I've been a bit busy the past week, but must get out and pay attention to our bird boxes. I hope they are occupied again. I love the bit about the male BT singing whilst the female gets on with the nest building! Poppy's new boyfriend is such a handsome chap; that last photo is adorable. xx

  6. All those babies, how wonderful. x

  7. I heard my first cuckoo on Saturday. And the same day I saw my first great bustards. A dozen or more. They were on the Austrian/Hungarian border.
    Shortly after I managed to lose my camera with the result that today I had to make do with a postcard picture for my running blog.
    This morning I lopped another 25 secs off my training pb, so it's another giant step for mankind!

  8. swallows here yet but I'm looking forward to spotting them soon x

  9. Glad to hear about Poppy’s new friend. Sounds like a fun run.

    Much nesting in this corner. Blackbirds busy in the baytree and all sorts going on in the holly. The robins are waiting for our trumpet vine to come into leaf then they’ll get busy no doubt. The garden has been a wonderful place today. B x

  10. How lovely to have all those birds nesting nearby.
    I heard a cuckoo when I was on my run yesterday- it made it feel even more like spring.
    Hope the 20 mile run goes well.


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