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Activity hots up in the WildlifeKate Patch!

Suddenly everything seems to be kicking off here! My nest boxes have been having visitors for the last few weeks… lots of heads popping in and tidying going on, but today was the first time I saw some nesting materials come in. OK, they were quite promptly removed, but it was a start! I have seven nest boxes and have had interest in all seven in the last few days… it’s gonna be busy recording all of that if they all have nests!

I usually sit in my conservatory first thing in the morning and I can see the Squirrel Studio from there. I had spied a stock dove and jackdaws beginning to show an interest and today one jackdaw came in on a number of occasions and started showing some promising signs of nesting! I have a soft spot for jackdaws and I would love them to nest. They are animated and fun characters and would provide entertaining footage I am sure!

My blackbird had been working hard on her nest and has finished it and started laying. I caught the first glimpse of an egg and was hoping for good footage. It is a shady spot, so the picture is not as good as I had hoped….

Tonight, when I switched cameras to see if she was on the nest as she had been last night. The nest was empty, but a movement to the side caught my eye. I was surprised to see a wood mouse go in the nest. At first, it crosse my mind that it was a rat… but I quickly realised it was too small … but would a wood mouse steal an egg? The footage certainly looked as if this was the case. The  mouse seems to try to remove the egg or break it. It then spent ages shredding the materials inside and seemingly creating a nest for itself. I managed to record some of it some of it, although the image is a little grainy as it is relying on the IR from the camera and it is a big space to light. I wonder if this behaviour has been captured before. I would not have thought that wood mice would take eggs. I just hope my blackbird will return in the morning. The nest has been messed up somewhat though and I am not sure she will return. We’ll have to wait and see.

I have also been watching my long tailed tit’s nest, but I am beginning to think they have changed their mind and are building somewhere else. They seem to be taking materials off of it rather than adding them and it is looking a bit sad. I am trying to locate where they are now building as this would have been a great family to film. 

A small hedgehog has been visiting my feeding station and tonight a huge one visited the fox feeding station. It was very large and has obviously done well to come out of hibernation that size. It will be interesting to see if he makes it up the rest of the field to my hedgehog feeding station. At that size, I am not sure it will get in the doorway!

My foxes are visiting regularly, but still waiting until after dark. I set the Bushnell HD out there and was really pleased to get some clips of one individual calling.  I have never managed to capture them doing that before:

Finally, the chiffchaffs has arrived back in the garden this week. It is so lovely hearing their calls from when I first wake up, right up until when the light begins to fade. This warm weather has certainly kick started everything into action…. I just hope that when the temperatures all drop again, the activity will not diminish too much. 

Oh, the joys of wildlife watching… joy, sadness, unexpected happenings. Keep checking out my website to keep p with all that is going on!


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