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4th April- some early nesting attempts

One of my earliest memories of watching birds is seeing them build nests in our garden. It always seemed such a privilege that wild birds chose to nest within our boundary. I realised at a young age that I could encourage nesting by providing nest boxes for tits, sparrows and flycatchers and by strategically placing flower pots in hedges and climbing plants for robins and wrens. It was then and still is such a thrill to see a bird gathering nest material, then watch it fly to a nest site I have provided, something of an addiction that has remained with me for life- there are worse addictions to have I suppose?!

This year has started well in our Gilling East garden. A robin is nesting in a box that was really provided for pied wagtails and a wren is nesting in the shed because it can use a specially cut, small access hole in the side. Numerous tree sparrows are building nests on milder days but show no inclination at all on colder days. This indicates that at this time of year nesting is still not at full pace. Colder days mean such instincts are put aside as birds concentrate on finding enough food to survive.

Our female robin has laid four eggs, but due to the inclement weather she is not incubating them full time yet, showing that self preservation comes before a nesting attempt that would demand so much time and energy. Once incubation begins her feeding time would be very limited. The wren nest in the shed was built by a male. Male wrens build several nests at this time of year. In a week or two he will hope to show off these nests to a female who will choose and line the most suitable one in which to breed. So it is possible that the beautiful moss and grass domed structure in the corner of our shed will not be used, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Wrens nest in shed showing provided access hole.

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