Apparently it is National Nest Box Week, so it seemed only right to review our nest box endeavours in the garden and beyond. Not that our efforts to provide suitable des res’ in the garden have been entirely successful over the years, but we do try. We had one old bird box on the garage wall for a few years and blue tits started nesting in it about 2014. Although we got photos and videos of the adults coming and going, we never managed to catch any of them fledging.
So last year we decided to replace the old bird box with a new one with integral camera. With hindsight perhaps we should have stuck with the old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, because needless to say nothing nested in it.
We did get very excited when a blue tit roosted in it for a night within a week or putting the box up, but nothing else has used it since (apart from a spider which covered the camera with web!).
Anyway we’re living in hope that this year will be our year and we can have our very own Springwatch experience, but of course we may have to resort to just watching the real Springwatch again (no great hardship).
We also put up a wren/robin box last year, which also remained vacant. This open fronted box is on our fence, hidden by bushes and ivy. The ivy is starting to grow over the box, but we may well have to move this one anyway as the neighbours want to replace the fence this year.
So we may not have much luck on the home front when it comes to nest boxes, but we now have an interest slightly further afield. Worcestershire Wildlife Trust were advertising a “rent-a-nest” scheme to fund nest boxes on some of their reserves. So for Valentine’s Day last week, rather than muck about with flowers and chocolates, we sponsored a nest. You could choose between 4 of the local reserves, so we plumped for our nearest and one of our favourites – Knapp & Papermill.
Apparently we will get invited to view “our” nest box in the spring – fingers crossed something actually uses this one!
And finally, nothing really to do with nests, but we were thrilled to spot a small flock of siskins in the garden yesterday. We’ve only ever seen one in the garden once before (and then only on the trail camera, not actually “live”), so to see a whole flock was fantastic. There were at least 6 males, but we only saw one female – this could have been though because they are not as showy, so not as easy to spot. Unfortunately we were indoors and they were obviously outdoors, so photos had to be taken through our less than sparkling windows. But a delight to see nonetheless.
4 thoughts on “National Nest Box Week”
I’ve got 2 nest boxes on the floor of my office waiting repair. I guess I better hurry up with that if it’s nest box week.
I tried some of those open fronted nest boxes by the way and had no takers until I dumped one on a shelf in the greenhouse for the winter and shoved a spare woven grass roosting pocket in it just for somewhere to keep it tidy. I’d forgotten all about it until an angry wren started telling me off for being in there. I checked the box and it had made a lovely little moss nest inside the roosting pocket. I had to abandon the greenhouse for a few weeks, fit shading to keep the sun off the box and remove loads of the glass when a heatwave struck but 2 chicks fledged in the end. I’d be happy to send you a roosting pocket if you want to try one in there as I have spares that aren’t getting used.
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I don’t suppose the birds will mind if you’re a few days late with their nest boxes! Maybe we should try the same as you and put a box in the greenhouse – can’t have less success than we’ve had so far. Thanks for the offer of the roosting pocket – that’s really kind. Think we’ll have to pass this year though, what with the neighbours changing the fence, we’d better see how things pan out before putting up anything else. But really appreciate the offer though. Hope you have success this year – fingers crossed for both of us to get fledglings!
We’ve never had any luck with our nest boxes either, but always hopeful. Good luck with your rented box, sounds a good initiative 🙂 x
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