Regular contributor Cheryl Cronnie sent in two lovely pictures of a pair of house hunting blue tits looking around a nest hole in one of our veteran oak trees.
The header image and the one above are Cheryl’s pictures
While I was editing the pictures, they began to seem very familiar. A search among our substantial media files produced photographs taken in April 2019 by the late (and much missed) DKG of a pair of blue tits tending nestlings in exactly the same nest hole in the same tree.
I don’t know why I found this extraordinary: different pairs of blue tits use the same garden nest box year after year so why not the same knot hole in an oak branch? And why wouldn’t two talented photographers look for and find the the same striking picture of birds at their nest?
Veteran oak trees are favoured locations for nesting blue tits. Not just for the cracks, crannies and knotholes that make such well-used and fought-over nest sites but also for the millions of winter moth caterpillars that will hatch when the tree comes into leaf, perfectly timed nestling food.
These pictures were taken at the same nest hole by DKG in April 2019; they show the tree in leaf and one of the birds with a beak full of green caterpillars.
We notice a pair of our local blue tits are already investigating our nest boxes.
They pair up very early and spend a long time house-hunting together.