Elizabeth & Malcolm's Bluetit Pages

Welcome to our bluetit diary for 2018

For various reasons, last year's diary did not get very far.  I had hoped that this year's would be more complete, however, for various reasons that was not to be.  However, I expect to be able to keep the 2018 Summary and Overview reasonably up-to-date, and the webcam running, so there will be something to watch anyway!

This year has been an unusual one.  It is quite possible for the chicks in Box1 to fledge before the eggs in Box2 hatch!  Such a wide  difference in timing is very unusual.  The only time this interval has been exceeded was in 2016 when the difference was 22 days.  On that occasion, the box failed because the male disappeared.

This year it could be that the original Box2 female disappeared and that the nest box was taken over about a month later by a new female.

This web site is a diary of the breeding behaviour of blue (and occasionally great) tits in our garden in Mayford, Surrey since February 2001.  New readers can read a summary of what has happened in previous years by looking at the Overview page which gives the dates of the principal events, such as the start of nest building, egg laying, hatching and fledging, and the important statistics, such as how many eggs were laid, hatched and fledged.  Compare the dates with what is happening this year and see if you can see any trends.  Each year has its own Summary page which gives more details about each year's events.

In 2013, 2015 and 2016, two females laid their eggs into one nest, laying a total of 21 eggs in 2013, 18 eggs in 2015 and 17 in 2016.  To watch the two hens co-operating with incubating and feeding the chicks was a great privilege - we did not realise such things happened.  For them to have happened in 3 of the last 5 years is even more amazing!

Last year we completed the switch to video encoder equipment for the capture of our images.  A third Axis video encoder enabled us to remove the old video capture cards completely and made the switch to Windows 10 easier.  See our Technical page for a fuller update.  The website update to enable the use of any device to view it, including smartphones and tablets as well as desktop devices, has continued and now includes the past records of every year since 2011.  I hope to continue this project this year.

As ever, to keep up to date, click on Latest News.  Alternatively, to explore the site more fully, click on the Menu button at the top of the page.

Recent News

Saturday 9th June, 2018

The chicks in Box1 fledged on May31st/Jun1st, and although all 9 eggs hatched in Box2, we are now down to 6 chicks.  Here you can see them resting between feeds - all looking towards the entrance hole of course!


This page was last updated on Saturday, 09 June 2018 12:43  Visitors since February 2002:  visitor count