A brief(ish) post today as I've been rugby coaching and gardening all day, plus showing Ben a barn owl (a proper, live, WILD barn owl - he's a lucky boy innee?), pheasant and red-legged partridge families in the farm's hedges, buzzards and kestrels aaaaaannnnnd several hundred red deer on the Windsor great park
- so... well... we're all a bit cream crackered to be honest.
First bit of news... Our 13 blue tit eggs laid in our camera box below started hatching today.
A day or so earlier than I predicted. Well... it has been warm eh? That's great news for the 7 (we think) eggs that have hatched today. I expect the other 6, or most of the other 6 anyway, to hatch by tomorrow. We're all already having a lorra lorra fun watching both tits (FNAR! FNAR!) bring tiny wee brown and green caterpillars to the already ravenous tiny tits.
Talking of pairs of
tits birds, it is with immense pleasure that I can report that as well as nesting magpies, woodpigeons, blackbirds and blue tits in the garden this year (pretty standard fayre to be honest), this year we ALSO have SONG THRUSHES doing the same.
It almost feels ridiculous to say this, but these wonderful, chevron-marked fruity-songed birds were EVERYWHERE in my yoof. I remember doing my paper round and watching them and listening to them belt their wonderful songs out from every other roof TV aerial (in the days of just three channels mind - how OLD am I?!).
The photo above I took in Reading during a snowy winter about ten years ago of two thrushes in a neighbour's garden... but as far as I was concerned as a boy... well... song thrushes nested in our garden in the Chiltern hills of South Buckinghamshire EVERY year.
But wind the clock forward thirty-five odd years to this year... and I'm sad to say that THIS pair of thrushes nesting in our garden, will be the first pair I've had nesting in ANY garden of mine, since the mid 80s.
I would never have guessed that as a boy in the 80s. (Incidentally we also had spotted flycatchers in the garden each summer (I've hardly seen one since) and also lesser spotted woodpeckers in the garden all year round (and I've NOT seen ONE of them AT ALL since)).
Wonderful news about the pair of nesting thrushes (picture and video shot through our kitchen window below (yes yes dreadful quality I know - shot in haste with my tiny wee matchbox-sized camera) and the tits. The tits, all being well, now should fledge around the 17th May.
Watch this space.
Finally, in case you weren't aware, the best birds of all are NOW zipping back to blighty to spend the late spring and early summer with us....
Get your boxes up and your MP3/CD swift calls dusted down.
Now's the time!