Bluetit Diary    May 2021 (3)



Sunday 9th May, 2021

Oh dear! I can only see 4 beaks here!



Monday 10th May, 2021

A good shot - but of only four chicks. What on earth has happened to the other two?

Are they just hidden, or have they died and been removed by their parents - or has the woodpecker managed to get at them?

Again, only four chicks can be seen in this picture.

Another shot showing only four chicks. I haven't seen the other two since last Saturday (8th May).



Tuesday 11th May, 2021

This morning, I finally took the top off the bird box (its design made this quick and easy) and removed a lump of moss caught up in a spider's web just beneath the camera lens. This shows the result - the first clear picture of the nest cup for weeks!

However, this does show quite definitely that only four chicks remain.



Wednesday 12th May, 2021

A parent with food! Which one I cannot be certain about.

Only four chicks, and only three gapes!

Now it is clear that only four chicks remain, one has to wonder what became of the other two.

At least they all seem eager for food!



Friday 14th May, 2021

Two days have passed and the chicks are looking noticeably older. They are now covered in black down!

Oh no! Are there now only three chicks?



Saturday 15th May, 2021

Again, only three chicks can be seen.



Sunday 16th May, 2021

Another view of only three chicks. However, they are progressing. You can see that their eyes are now open.

At the end of the day, here we have a picture of both parents feeding the remaining three chicks.

I wonder if the parents realise that they have fewer chicks now than they had earlier? Probably not!



Monday 17th May, 2021

What a dreadful year it has been for bluetits in our garden. I cannot remember a worse one.

No chicks at all in Box2 and now we are down to just three in Box1. I wonder what the problem as been.



Wednesday 19th May, 2021

At least the three remaining chicks are getting fed. I wonder whether the lack of food could have been the problem. Spring was cold this year and the local oak trees bud burst was later than usual. However, Ella and Eric didn't seem to realise this and Ella's first egg was laid in the middle of April as usual.

That wouldn't, of course, have been the reason for their being no eggs in Box2 this year.



Thursday 20th May, 2021

We still seem to have three healthy chicks in Box1, eager for food.

Another feed for the chicks.



Saturday 22nd May, 2021

Three lovely chicks with wide gapes and fully opened eyes.



Sunday 23rd May, 2021

The chicks are at last beginning to look like bluetits - their facial markings are becoming clearer.



Monday 24th May, 2021

This is the first wing flapping session that I have noted. Wing flapping normally occurs only a few days before fledging so is a reminder that we will not have these chicks for company for long!

To rub that message home. here you can see one of the chicks looking out of the box!