A change in the garden

I have been a little reluctant to blog about our garden residents over the last few weeks. After the first nest box crisis all seemed to be progressing as it should inside the nest box. The chicks were growing big and strong and feathers were starting to push their way out. I happily sat without music in the house listening to the regular bursts of tweets as the parents came to feed them. I was even trying to arrange a date to ring the fluffy little critters.

Great tit chicks hatched and hungry

Then one morning, after a night in Carole’s place (with her birds!) we arrived home and all was a little too quiet in the garden. I parked my bike close to the box and all was silent. I knew something was wrong, any noise in the garden usually evokes a bubble of bird squeaks. Carefully I opened the box and my heart sank for the second (and final) time. All the chicks were lying motionless in the nest. It appears that something had made it’s way into the box, through the small entrance hole and partially ate the chicks. It’s not a pleasant thought, but nature has it’s own way of balancing things out. I was disappointed, but after the first crisis, I realised I had placed a lot of hope on the chicks, and maybe it wasn’t healthy. I am a sensitive soul, which can be a flaw at times.

Our windowsill nursery – mini tomato plants

All is not lost though. Life continues in the garden in other ways. With the small patch of ground we have, we are experimenting with growing a few types of food. We have sowed the seeds indoors in small containers and once they start to grow we plant them outdoors. At the moment we have potatoes (of course!) peas, radishes, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and strawberries in the making. It’s not all plain sailing for the veggies either. Our pea plants have been mysteriously attached, and we suspect it’s this large feathered friend.

The suspected enemy of the pea – wood pigeon (ringdue)

When we moved in we decided to leave some of the garden to grow wild (the lazy and environmental friendly option!). We have a mini herb garden, which is ruled by some form of mint but a chive plant still holds a small amount of territory! The chives are in flower at the moment and I am fascinated by the colour and structure of the beautiful flower.

Chive flower in the garden – close up

To our surprise, two days after removing the old nest and dead chicks from the nest box, two blue tits (blåmejse) moved in. Nest building was swift and egg laying started immediately. I suspect there to be about 9 eggs today, but the female is sitting tights when I take my morning peak (and photo) so I can’t be sure. Lets hope this nest is more successful. The daily photos of the nest will be posted on this page.

Female blue tit on nest

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One response to “A change in the garden”

  1. Carole says :

    Oh dear, it’s a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions at your place! On a positive note, our baby blue tits have flown the nest and the baby blackbirds have been seen bumbling around the garden. Let’s hope the cats don’t get them before they learn to fly properly!

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