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,