"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Exciting Nesting Activity News and a Brief Visit to Marsh Lane NR

We're thrilled to bits that the Blue Tit eggs started to hatch yesterday right on cue :) Its very difficult to count the chicks but today I have definitely counted six little beaks but I suspect there are a couple more.

A couple of record shots - not very good I know but the nest box camera is routed through the tv so I have to take a photo of the tv screen and the camera seems to pick up all the pixels. One of the newly hatched chicks and one of mum incubating them and remaining eggs.

I popped to Marsh Lane NR very briefly towards the end of last week. I knew I wouldn't have much time there but had even less than expected due to a road closure en route necessitating a detour and then when I arrived at the reserve it took me 10 minutes to get the key to open the first padlock!

It was a pleasant walk round the reserve though with hawthorn now coming into blossom and Lady's Smock, Greater Stitchwort, Forget-me-nots and Gorse all flowering. Dozens of Sand Martins (my first of the year) were feeding over Railway Pool and swooping very low over my head as I walked along the path. I also saw my first Ringed Plover of 2014.

Mute Swan on one of the smaller pools

Grey Squirrel feasting under the bird feeders

A coot sitting on her nest in front of one of the hides and

not far behind her an Oystercatcher sitting on eggs. Sorry about the poor photo the 70-300 mm lens is really useless when birds are at a distance.

Another poor record shot of a Redshank.

A Bonapartes Gull had seen at the reserve the previous day (a mega rarity which would have been a life tick for me) but there was no sign of it on the day I visited.


Countryside Tales said...

Soooo exciting about the babies! I saw my first baby blackbird in the garden with her dad yesterday. Love this time of the year :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales Thanks :) Yes I love May - probably my favourite month :) Great news about your baby blackbirds :)

Sarah said...

Wonderful to see the baby blue-tits close-up. May is such a wonderful time in the nature calender. Thankyou for sharing.

Ragged Robin said...

Sarah - Thanks - I wish I could find a way of putting some video on my blog. Lovely to watch young birds appearing and all the wildflowers :)

Dartford Warbler said...

Enjoy the nest watching.

I have heard baby house sparrows in the ivy but haven`t seen them yet!

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Thank you. So lovely to see and hear all the young birds :) Hope the house sparrows fledge soon for you.

SeagullSuzie said...

How exciting to watch the nest like that, I'm looking forward to more pictures and updates. Nesting has begun with our gulls on the rooftops so more heartbreak than excitement I fear-they have such a difficult life with exposed nests.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Thanks :) Look forward to reading about your gulls and seeing photos and I do hope there won't be too much heartbreak this year.

Wendy said...

That is exciting about the bluetits. I'm always amazed by how quickly their feathers grow. I haven't seen any Sand Martins this year - hope to soon.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks. I so agree about Blue Tits - I can never get over how from bald, blind and fairly ugly little newly hatched chicks they go to such cute fully fledged birds in such a short space of time :)