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Benns Nestboxes 2017
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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 279
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All

Not posted for couple of weeks. Been doing some consultancy in Poland and my Macbook is playing up too so I write this just a few hours before it goes in for repair.

The Blackbirds abandoned their nest and the magpie polished off the remaining egg. I have begun to cut my ivy back as its got out of hand this last two years so I doubt they will try there again.

The starlings nest are well underway and whats more we have another two sites around the front of the house in the eaves. I am certain they are the offspring of last years starlings. I expect the first egg this friday or saturday looking at past records.

We have blue tits in our side box but like last year building is sporadic with just a few sprigs of moss. I am hoping they don't simply give up as they did then.

After 4 seasons of Great tits in our shed box I think we will draw a blank this year. We had a couple of inspections this last fortnight but nothing consistent. Our original pair must have past away and their offspring only occasionally visit our garden feeders.

I also spotted a Robin building a nest under our concreted front steps but sadly a day later found the body of a robin nearby. It looked like it had flown into the window.

Hope to have some videos after my Mac is fixed.
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SueP



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 1819
Location: Ferndown, Dorset.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear Benn, some good news, some sad news - guess this is how nature is. Hope the starlings do well, and hope the blue tits soon make a big effort.
Sue
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1617
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully the blue tits get a move on for you Benn, Keep us updated when you can.
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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 279
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just about to set off to the apple store in the Trafford centre to take in my Mac. Just time to report our Starling Liz has laid her first egg around 11:30am this morning. Smile
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1617
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great news Benn Very Happy
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1617
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No updates Ben? Miss your updates been used to seeing them each year! Did your blue tits carry on building? Hows the starling chicks?
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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 279
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WildlifePaul wrote:
No updates Ben? Miss your updates been used to seeing them each year! Did your blue tits carry on building? Hows the starling chicks?


Hi Paul and fellow nestbox enthusiasts. This has been strange year. This last two months I have been busy arranging to take my pension after 7 years doing dribs and drabs of consultancy after redundancy in 2010 so have been organising and arranging my finances to retire at 57 year old which I never thought could happen in a million years. Smile

Anyhow we have 3 starling chicks that hatched last mon/tues which is a pretty small brood. The mum has become a single mum as I believe the dad was also the father of two broods nesting under our eaves at the front of the house and these hatched a week earlier so took precedence in his eyes. He made a couple of appearances with food mid week but nothing since. I put out mealworms and although other starlings take them my female ignores them. They seem to be doing fine though and I guess she will manage feeding just three.

Well Paul whilst you were celebrating your first chick we got our first blue tit egg this morning. My new recorder does playback so I saw the unmistakable panting when replaying around 5:50am this morning then the egg. Our female BT kick started into proper building last saturday in the great weather. Until then we had seen 3 weeks of a few bits of moss being shuffled around and expected abandonment as per last year. Interestingly last Sunday a large reddish bumble bee tried to take over the box and she would not enter whilst the bee was inside. After shooing it away several times I think it gave up or the cold snap forced it back into hibernation.

Unfortunately we are without Great tits after having them for 3 seasons in a row. My guess is that our original female passed away and though the male tried to entice a new female several times she chose a different box several gardens down.

I will try to post some pics and vids next week.
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1617
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really happy your blue tit stuck around Benn! Look forward to seeing your pictures and updates Very Happy
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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 279
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All

Been travelling again so spent the last hour sat in bed catching up on all the wonderful threads. Sorry that I have been somewhat inactive on the posting front this season. I posted a couple of pics below.

Anyhow our single mum Starling successfully raised 3 young this year that fledged last Monday. Unfortunately later that day I heard a terrible screeching and saw our local magpie harassing the runt of three on our decking with its mum furiously trying to defend her offspring. Luckily I got there in time to save it and transfer into the ivy. Hope they survived. I have worked out that the male starling had three females on the go, the two others nesting under our front eaves and a hole in next next doors front porch. He fed the first nest that hatched which was the eaves one. However, he is now busy carrying fresh nest material into all three sites and endeavouring to attract females for second broods to each site. Below the blue tit pic you can see half a picture of the rebuilt nest. It will be interesting to see if he attracts a mate. Hopefully it will be in our box as the one in the eaves has caused no end of mess on my wifes new car Surprised as the birds exited the nest with the droppings!

Our blue tits laid 8 eggs which all hatched on Thurs/Friday. The parents seem to be doing well finding food but some mini meal worms arrived yesterday so they soon made good use of the ones are put out.

As an aside we seem to be inundated with House Martins this year. Our two artificial nest were taken by May 5th and now we have another 15 or more pairs building on the street with a couple making mud nests alongside our artificial nest. There is one building under the apex of the eaves of the house opposite. It is fascinating to see how they slowly build a mud platform with nothing but beakfuls of mud.



Starlings just prior to fledging, the two older siblings are stood on the other
Starlings just prior to fledging, the two older siblings are stood on the other
Poster: Benn, viewed 8 Time(s)

half our blue tits just after hatching on Thurs. The remainder hatched on Friday
half our blue tits just after hatching on Thurs. The remainder hatched on Friday
Poster: Benn, viewed 8 Time(s)


Last edited by Benn on Sun May 21, 2017 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1617
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to see you updating Benn, Missed your reg updates this year!

Pleased everything is going well for you Very Happy

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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 279
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Hi All, Thought I'd give one of my infrequent updates.

Our blue tits are thriving. All 8 eggs hatched 9 days ago (I think) and we have 7 or 8 healthy chicks, being fed by two very attentive parents. The good weather has certainly helped as well as some mini mealworms placed in a cage near to the box. The chicks seem to stop feeding mid afternoon and mum justs sits nearby or roots around the nest removing ticks. They are now finding plenty of green caterpillars and have been ignoring the mini mealworms. They will take large mealworms though.

We had a major fight between our male and a Great tit within the caged feeder yesterday the sound was horrendous but luckily I got there in time to break it up before anyone was hurt Rolling Eyes

Our starlings have built a second nest but as yet there are no eggs.

I have attached a picture below plus a link to a 3 min clip of the blue tits. Apologies for the poor quality of the pics but the video is much better Smile

Link: https://youtu.be/KSsnlGAZXyE
blue tits
blue tits
Poster: Benn, viewed 6 Time(s)



BT2
BT2
Poster: Benn, viewed 6 Time(s)
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SueP



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 1819
Location: Ferndown, Dorset.

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely video Benn. Glad no-one hurt in fight. Good job you were at hand. Let's hope these things sound worse than they actually are.
I find mini mealworms often get ignored, I don't think I'll bother with them in future.
Sue
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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 279
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our brood of blue tits fledged this morning. All gone by 9am. There were 6 strong fully grown fledglings so we lost two along the way.

The weather is grey windy and wet but not as bad as yesterday. I have seen mum and dad flying into some bushes at the end of our street and one youngster on the floor under a hedge opposite our house. They are right under the magpies nest so fingers crossed they stay safe Anxious

Wish they had hung on another day as tomorrows forecast is much better. Checking my records I see that this year they fledged 19 days after hatching whereas two years ago our blue tit family did so after 21 days.

Another year over sigh! Smile
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1617
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad they all 6 healthy chicks fledged Ben! Missed your updates this year Laughing
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SueP



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 1819
Location: Ferndown, Dorset.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely to hear that news Benn Applause
Sue
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