It is pretty busy in the WildlifeKate garden at the moment, and the egg count is gradually rising, although some of the birds are doing a very good job of hiding the eggs away by covering them up, making it very difficult to see what we are now up to. Generally, once they start laying, they lay about one egg a day. I wonder how they ‘know’ when they have laid them all…. can they ‘tell’? The plum tree box had 2 eggs in there yesterday, but I have been unable to see today if that has increased. The female is nipping in and out with more soft nesting material… feathers seem to be her favourite! She returns each night to sit on them, but is not there during the day, suggesting she has not yet finished laying.
The Discovery nest box still has five eggs in there and the great tit here does not cover them, so I have had really clear views of her lovely clutch. Again, she is in and out, although she returned and sat on them mid afternoon and the male did nip in and feed her, so may be five is her full clutch.
The oak tree box has 4 eggs I think. I just caught a glimpse this morning before she covered them up. She has spent time in there this afternoon as a house sparrow pair have been looking in! I saw her behaving strangely, flicking her wings and calling… then suddenly a head came into the nest box. I thought it was a green finch, but they do not use nest boxes. I went outside and there was a house sparrow pair hanging around the box and the female kept looking in. As you can imagine, the blue tit was not impressed! I am hoping she can fend them off.
The side box has not shown any eggs yet, but I will be surprised if there are not any yet. She is behaving the same way as the other great tit…. in and out occasionally in the day and then in there all night, but I could not see any when I looked today.
A pair of jackdaws were in and out of the barn kestrel box this morning… have not seen anything in there for a while. A couple of times one of them bought in some beaks full of straw, so may be they are thinking of nesting there. We’ll have to wait and see. Hopper and Dave (who had been showing a lot of interest in the oak tree kestrel box) seem to have disappeared and the stock dove has been taking a look again.
The mammal boxes are proving to be popular…. the hedgehog is coming most nights and one night I had two of them, although there was a lot of snorting and spine raising! They also scratch constantly… they must be covered in fleas!
The wood mice are regular visitors into this hedgehog box as well, but on last night’s i-catcher footage, a vole also came in on a number of occasions! Notice it’s much rounder face, smaller ears. It also has a much shorter tail.
Finally, the wood mice visit every night to the mousecam and they were performing very well last night, sitting right in fromt of the camera. At one point, two came in… a male and female I think. They do not usually tolerate any other company…
That’s all for tonight… back to watching the cameras to see what wildlife wonders unfold on tonight’s viewings!