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Birds sometimes choose unusual locations for their nests. Ironically these are often the easiest to find and photograph. Peering at a blackbird nest deep in a hedge where it is reasonably safe is one thing; getting a photo without destroying the birds much desired cover is another.
Here a blackbird for some reason thought the Climbing
rose trellis 2 foot
(60cm) from the front door was a good spot. It went OK
for a while and they
started incubating 5 eggs, but a day or so later they
were gone. We suspect our
local magpies or Jackdaws rather than little boys, as we
decided to keep it off
the web site until events unfolded. Only people like the
postman knew about it
as they ducked to avoid the panicking bird.
We are quite
used to our jackdaws nesting in the Kestrel Box, Little
Owl box, Great Spotted
Woodpecker box, and down the Chimneys. But in 2000, as
well as these others, a pair chose a
pigeon box (intended for Collared Doves but which has
never had anything) with an entrance only
about 5 ft (1.5m) off the ground. The huge heap of
twigs at the base of the pole are the sticks that
they couldn't get in! The construction of the box and
the height of the nest inside prevented us even
seeing anything inside, let alone take a photograph.
We are told a nest of this height is very unusual. This is probably a good thing - - the nest was abandoned after about a month with no outcome.
We wanted House martins to nest in the eves, but the eves are the wrong shape to attract them, so we put up a horizontal board and some 'starter homes'. Well the House martins completely ignore them (to start with for a good reason - they fill up with water unless you drill a hole in the bottom!). But the space above the board is not sealed, and Starlings have made one or two nests above it for a number of years - and very successfully too. Here is one of the parents delivering a beakfull of something squishy to the incredibly noisy young. By the end of the seaon the wall needs a clean with a pressure washer from top to bottom!
This site has now been used for several years and in 2007 the Jackdaws decided to use it and the area is festooned with twigs and nesting materials.
On 10 April 2007 we noticed a pair of bluetits hanging around in an old apple tree waiting for us to depart the area. Their interest was in an old and probably never used bat-box which something had widened the entrance slot so that it now just fits a bluetit.
This entry made 13 Apr 2007 so don't yet know how it will go.