Nesting

At this time of year, the reserve’s blue tits are looking for nest holes in our old trees. The ash tree at Fiveways harbours a nest every year and the newly fenced oak near at the bottom of the Arboretum seems to have attracted more than one pair already.

Here is a video of a female blue tit building a nest while, outside, the male guards the site from marauders and thieves.

Video from The Nest Box
Header picture by Simon Knight

Blue tit

by Simon Knight

Along with everything else going on in the world, I was beginning to find the recent dull weather slightly depressing. I have also found it frustrating from a photography point of view, as I only like to take pictures in good light, and you don’t get good light without the sun! The recent dullness has been especially frustrating as I have had a new lens to test which needs good light for me to be able to get the best out of it. 

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World record blue tit

In Britain, the maximum recorded age of a blue tit is 10 years and 3 months but the world record is 11 years and 7 months.

All pictures taken in the park by DKG

A gallery of blue tits.

A blue tit feeding in an oak tree, photographed last March by DKG

Blue tit update

by DKG

A couple of poor quality photos of the blue tit entering (above) and leaving (below) the nest early this morning. The pictures are not very sharp , the bird appeared and disappeared so quickly and I forgot the tripod again.

I think it’s the cock bird feeding the hen; the visits were not frequent but at least the birds are still present and hopefully doing well.

2016’s blue tit nest

While our female blue tit incubates her eggs and the male visits to feed her, here is a look back to 2016 when DKG staked out another nest in a different oak tree.


All the pictures are by DKG

Below is the full story of this year’s nest:

Latest blue tit news

A message from DKG during the week

A long stay observing and photographing the Blue Tits. I am certain they have young. They were both frantically entering and leaving the nest all the time I was there. Still no sightings of the Green Woodpeckers but I did see a Great Spotted Woodpecker, although I was not quick enough to get any photos.

Click on any picture to open the gallery

Click here for more about our blue tits

Winter blue tits

During the winter, in natural woodlands, blue tits spend most of their time in oaks, searching for insect food in the trees’ rich ecosystems. At this time of year they turn their attention to the midges, mites and wasps that come to lay eggs in the new leaf buds.

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Pop goes the Weasel

Hats and scarves was the order of the day for Wednesday’s work party, and hedges and ditches, out of the east wind, were the best places to spend the morning. The park, however, was getting on with spring to an accompaniment of birdsong.

Trish saw a weasel hunting through the hedge; it ran across the picnic place and the track and into the brambles. Low down in the  brambles, beyond the reach of Dave’s camera, we found a long-tailed tits’ nest, half-built: a ball of moss, hair and lichen, lined with downy feathers.  A weasel is dangerous company for breeding birds; it will take eggs and nestlings, particularly if it is feeding its own nestful of young.

 

 

While we drank coffee and ate home made cakes, a pair of blue tits were trying out nest holes in the very highest branches of the ash tree at Fiveways. In the oaks, above us, robins and great tits shouted loud territorial challenges at each other.

A great spotted woodpecker worked its way up the trunk of an oak tree in the hedge between Cornfield and Sleeper Field, and three green woodpeckers flew overhead towards the copse in Sheep Field. The blackthorn is in flower, primroses seem to be ignoring the arctic start to their growing season, and leaf buds are swelling on the trees. Ian says there is frogspawn in the little pond!

 

 

It’s such a pleasure to work in the park on a spring day.

Celandine(Lesser)_2006_04_29_GlassonDock_030

Pictures: Google Images

 

 

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