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Wintry April Day

Yesterday, I was cutting the grass and sweeping up in the sunshine, watching the birds collecting nesting materials and singing in blossomed trees. Today, my garden was encased in a swirling blizzard with bitterly cold winds whipping round my daffodils and emerging bluebells… bizarre! 

I was up pretty early and the first thing I always do is to check my cams (of course!) Straight away, I saw some movement in Squirrel Studio and switched the cam to full screen. Realising the squirrel was in there, I plugged it into my Mac to record. The squirrel, obviously cold and wet from the snow, was rolling around in the hay and drying off. It was lovely to watch him cleaning his tail, feet and then stretching out on his back. I had been envisaging footage like this when I struggled to get this huge box up in a rather precarious position in the garden. I had hoped for a female though… lying there and giving birth. Oh well, still good to capture this and hopefully they will use it through the winter and then choose to breed here next year. … for now, they are going to have to battle with the jackdaw pair who have been showing a lot of interest in this box too.

I was also checking on my blackbird female. Yesterday a piece of ivy had dropped right in front of the camera. When she nipped off for a bit, I raced out to move it out of the way. I had a quick peek inside the nest and we have three eggs.  These should hatch in around 12 days time. Luckily, the spot she has chosen is pretty protected; right up next to the garage port with a bank opposite, she is out of the main wind. The snow was still landing on her though and she was drinking the droplets that were melting on her feathers. Luckily, I was recording a clip, when the male came into the nest. He had a suet pellet in his beak that he had just got from my sieve feeders! He very gently passed it over to her. I love the little chirruping calls they make to each other. So wonderful to capture little moments like that on the camera. Again, I find myself asking questions; The female does all the nest-building…. why does the male not get involved? The male is obviously watching as he comes and looks at the nest every now and then. How does he decide when to start feeding the female? Does he keep checking until she is actually sitting on the eggs.. is that his ‘trigger’ to start bringing food to her? Sometimes, he appears with food and she has nipped out. He always seems really bemused… just sits on the nest and looks around….

I could watch these cameras all day… the more you watch, the more you discover, the more you learn….. 


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