Tag: birding

More owl action last night. The barn owl appeared around the same time, same place, and we all got a good view of it. Then during the night there were hoots and calls from tawny and little owls.

Absolutely delighted to see a barn owl hunting in the field across the road from our house. With the landowner allowing the pasture to remain as rough grazing, it has become a better habitat for voles, and the owl’s presence confirms that. Watching one fly at dusk, they always look so ghostly, and bigger than they really are. It dropped several times into the grass and used a couple of fence posts to perch on. That’s made my day.

![ ](https://www.dropbox.com/s/pmpli9b5wcz810l/IMG_5458-3.jpeg?raw=1) Sitting out in the garden, I looked up. Above the gap between our trees a sparrow hawk appeared, at the same time as a buzzard, flying much higher. Sparrow hawk – the speck in the upper right. Buzzard – speck in the lower left.

Last week, a woodpecker attacked the nest box in which the great tits were nesting. It pecked two large holes but seems to have not touched the eggs. Still, the great tit pair have abandoned it. Nature does seem harsh at times. On Friday my wife spotted the woodpecker having a crack at the blue tit box. I left work a little early so I could come home and add fortifications. I attached more wood to the outside of the box and then used chicken wire to add a further deterrent. All the while the parents were coming and going with food for the six chicks. They told me off, I would move out the way and they just got in with it. The things we do! So far, there has been no more woodpecker vandalism.

Managed a look into the blue tits nest box today, having spotted the parents leaving (do they qualify as parents before the chicks hatch?) This is a good sized clutch of eggs – it amazes me that such a small bird can produce so many. More data for the Nest Record Scheme. An [article on the BTO](https://www.bto.org/understanding-birds/species-focus/blue-tit) website explains that:> An average clutch of Blue Tit eggs contains roughly 0.5 g of calcium, which might not sound like a lot; but given that there is only about 0.6 g of calcium in a Blue Tit skeleton, this represents a significant investment for the female and it is likely that she will need to source this from the environment, presumably in the form of fragments of snail shell and other calcium-rich material.![ ](https://www.dropbox.com/s/tsy33oj70g4qacb/IMG_4839-3.jpeg?raw=1)

I spotted our resident Great tits were away from the nest box so popped the inspection camera in for a peek.They have been busy!![ ](https://www.dropbox.com/s/gockzctor8rp0hx/IMG_4819-3.jpeg?raw=1)

Two weeks ago I checked our various nest boxes and the one usually occupied by great tits was completely empty.I assumed that they weren’t going to use it this year but in the last week we have noticed the male singing away nearby and one or the other of the pair leaving the box a few times.A quick check with my inspection camera on Sunday revealed a completed nest and at least one egg.They’ve not hung around then! Glad to have them back again.