Nest News in my Patch……

I have been somewhat absorbed with the tawnies at YewView and, as processing and uploading footage takes so long, I have not been as diligent with my own cameras at home. I have been live streaming 4 cameras my website; Blue tits, great tits, jackdaws and my tawny box. These are all giving good views.

I have 2 jackdaw nests, one is partially obscured by twigs and the other one is on my live stream. Both laid 5 eggs but only 2 chicks are present in each nest now. I have two blue tit boxes occupied, one is live streaming and one which I am going to upload footage from as the image is very clear and the audio is working well. I also have a great tit box, where the chicks are about a week from fledge.

My tawny has been the most stressful. After a successful fledge from YewView, the story has not been so rosy here at home. This box has a nest box cam, so not as good an image as at YewView. The male seems to have disappeared. I can only presume he has been killed, possibly on a road. The female laid 4 eggs and all four hatched. At first, everything looked good….

Four owlets was going to be a challenge with two parents. With only one parent, it was an impossibility. Within two days, two of the owlets had died. It was heartbreaking to watch. The female was gong out at night for increasingly long periods, often returning with no food.  She fed the dead owlets to her remaining chicks; something that commonly happens.

It is difficult not to think about how you can help, but I am reluctant to intervene too much. The tawny box is above my hen run, where I have a few rat visitors. I decided I would put some food out in an open area, just below the box. I thought that if there were rats coming to the food, she might have a chance to catch some. During the day, she sometimes sits in the entrance of the box, so I was confident she would take advantage of potential prey just a few seconds flight away. I was delighted when I saw her bring in a small rat within half an hour of me putting food out. She repeated this today with an adult rat; plenty of food for two small owlets. To help this female, I will continue to have food out in this area. Maybe that will be the boost she needs to raise the two remaining owlets on her own…. we’ll have to wait and see.

The lane box blue tits started hatching today and I am going to attempt to lift some footage every day from this nest box. This box has a 720TVL camera inside, with a light console on a sensor, so it turns off at night.

I have at least three foxes visiting and, a couple of times, they have visited during the day, early in the morning….

The hedgehogs are still visiting… if they can beat the rats to it! I just hope all these rats will provide food for the tawnies and the foxes……