Bluetit Diary    May 2013 (5)



Tuesday 7th May 2013

This situation is getting very confusing, though Sam seems to be coping all right!

Sam comes into the nest box with a mealworm when both females are in the box.  Scruff is nearest to the entrance hole, and it looks as though she is going to get it ...

... when Sally suddenly realises what is going on and leans across ...

... and grabs it!

After eating the mealworm, Sally pokes and prods at Scruff who eventually gets tired of this ...

... and leaves the nest box.

I've been looking for a good egg picture all day, expecting that I would find 18 eggs, one more than yesterday.  This is the best picture I can find but there are still only (only?!) 17 eggs in it.  Perhaps Scruff has stopped laying too?

We have expected Scruff to make more of an effort to sit on the eggs overnight, but so far Sally has won all their tussles over this.  If Scruff has stopped laying she will be wanting to incubate, so the situation might become more difficult.

This picture was taken at about ten to eight and shows Sally tucked up for the night, head under wing as usual.

Scruff comes in and it looks as though to begin with Sally thought it was Sam with a late feed!

When she realises it isn't, she tries to ignore Scruff and curls up again with her head under her wing.

But Scruff won't let her and starts trying to get down into the nest cup.

Sally doesn't want to know and just lies doggo and refuses to budge.

This time Scruff refuses to give up and keeps on harassing Sally ...

... who eventually has had enough and gets up and leaves.

Scruff gives a little nesting wriggle of victory!

But Sally must have realised when she was outside that she couldn't accept this and after about 20 seconds she comes back ...

... and adopts similar tactics.

No joy - now Scruff doesn't budge so again Sally leaves the nest box.

A minute later she is back again, this time with renewed energy.

After a lot of pushing and shoving, somehow Sally manages to regain the bottom position ...

... and this time it is Scruff who calls it a day.

So Sally settles down to sleep again ... 

... but Scruff doesn't give up easily either!  She comes back yet again.

This time it's Sally who leaves the box.  She comes back for another go shortly after but again has to retreat after a robust defence by Scruff.

Fifteen seconds later she is back, but again she is unsuccessful and decides to leave.

Soon after she is back again!  But again she cannot shift Scruff.

Is this the beginning of the end for Sally?  Will Scruff roost in the box tonight for the first time?

This time there is a gap of 1 minutes before Sally has another go.  But this time she is back with renewed vigour and is successful, so it is Scruff who has to give way.

You would think that after all this effort, Sally would stay firmly inside the box.  But no!  Suddenly, for no apparent reason, after about 1 minutes she decides to leave the box empty again - except for the 17 eggs of course!

It's all right though.  It was only a quick nip outside and she is back a few seconds later.

And that's the state of play when the system switches off for the night at 20:11:40.