Mrs Pat Marks and Miss Wendy Marks, would like to announce the birth of Mr and Mrs BBs baby chicks in the gardens of Marks Mansion (formerly known as Mum's garden)
Now that 'tongue-in-cheek' royal announcement has been made, I can tell you what we know so far. This morning Mum and I noticed Mrs BB fidgeting on her nest. Mr BB was seen to bring in some food, and that wasn't unusual as he has been feeding her occasionally on the nest, but this time we could see Mrs BB at the back of the nest and Mr BB with his head down at the front of the nest. This happened several times. We had to wait quite a while for both parents to leave the nest, but when they did I shot round and peered in. At least three tiny chicks so far, possibly four. Mum also had a very quick peek in and she confirms she definitely saw an unhatched egg still, but we could both see broken egg shells in the nest too. Mrs BB laid five eggs in total. Neither of us wanted to hang around and look more carefully, and the rest of the day we were very careful to keep out of the way if we saw Mr BB coming in with food.
So great news from Marks Mansion for our resident Blackbirds.
On to the visiting Great Spotted Woodpeckers. After my blog posts over the last week, we can now confirm we have three visiting birds. Two males and a female. So let me introduce them to you.......
|This is Bill, the male with the deformed beak.|
|This is Ben. The second male with a perfect beak and confiding nature.|
|and this is Jen, the female. She is incredibly skittish and looking a bit ruffled and worn. This is the best photo I've managed of her so far. She rarely makes it on to the nut feeder as even Mr BB flying through the garden is enough to spook her.|
Today I spent 90 minutes in the hide in the morning and 45 minutes in the hide this afternoon. During both sittings I didn't see Bill once, but Ben was very active. Jen came down three times, but every time she only made it as far as the pergola before something spooked her and she'd take off.
Ben made the same entrance every time. He came in from the direction of the neighbours garden, would perch on top of the pergola then fly down to the nuts. From there he would extract one, clamber round to the trunk the nut feeder is hanging from, put the nut in the hole, then fly off. He repeated this five times during my mornings observation.
However on the sixth and seventh visit this morning, he made the same entrance but after selecting his nut, he took off back towards the neighbours garden. During my afternoon observations he repeated the same process four more times.
The nut feeder and tree were also visited by a handsome Jay....
A Blue Tit hoovered up any crumbs......
And one of the rats tried its luck at being a woodpecker (and failed)....
Elsewhere in the garden the usual Red Kites, Swifts and House Martins were going over, plus this Sparrowhawk. This is the third time I've seen a Sprawk around Mum's garden, sorry I mean Marks Mansion, and I doubt it will be the last.