Bluetit Diary    May 2020 (19)



Sunday 24th May, 2020

So today's F day!  (F: fledge)

It's twenty past five in the morning and already one chick is thinking about it.  Looking one way ...

 ... and then the other! 

It's now nearly 6am and none of them have taken the plunge yet.

At nearly ten past six this chick is still just thinking.  Or is it?

Suddenly it's done it!  Chick number 2 fledged at 6.07am.

I'm sure it's flying skills will improve very soon.  This looks more like diving than flying!

Pretty soon the next chick takes its place.

Away it goes!  Chick 3.  It is now 6.11am.

I think it's making a better job of it than chick 2 did.

Inside, the three remaining chicks stand in awe.  What have the others done?

They all suddenly rush for the hole at once.  Perhaps you can't make them out, but all three chicks are trying to get into the hole at the same time - confusion reigns!

This was the chick that made it.  It didn't hang about like the first two chicks to fledge did either.

It is three minutes after the last chick that chick number 4 takes to the air.  You can see where it is thrusting itself off from the nest box ...

 ... unfurling its wings ...

 ... and flying!

Four down and two to go.

In spite of the rush to the hole when the last chick went, there appears to be no desperate urgency now.

However, after a few minutes chick number 5 goes to the exit.

The prospect of being left by itself seems to worry the other chick and it, too, goes to the exit.

For a few more minutes, nothing happens.

Then, suddenly, it inches itself forward ...

  ... and it, too, takes that leap of faith that is needed to jump of the edge of a cliff, and launches itself into the air.

Pity I can't follow them to wherever their first flight takes them.  Let's hope there isn't a cat waiting on the ground beneath them.

That just leaves the one chick in the nest box.

It has never been by itself before.

It eventually jumps up to the hole where Chloe comes with food.  What a nice Mum!

Chloe then flies off ...

 ...leaving the chick to get on with it!

Which, ten minutes after the last chick, it eventually does.  Chick number 6 fledged at 6.32am.

It looks as though its doing quite well too. 

It's quite got the hang of this flying thing!

One last glimpse of chick number 6 as it moves out of the field of may camera.

So that's it folks.  Not a bad total.  Nine eggs laid, probably 8 eggs hatched, and 6 chicks successfully fledged.

I wonder how many of these I'll see on the bird feeders in a few weeks time?