Nestcam 2014: The Tits Are Back

After last year’s disaster, we haven’t gone near our nest box all winter. I always intended to unscrew the top and clean it out, the way they suggest you do, but the rain just kept coming. And by the time the sun came out, we noticed there were already birds visiting it.

A quick look at the camera showed me they seemed to be clearing it out themselves, as there was far less nesting material in there than there had been, so I didn’t think it was a good idea to intervene. Then the camera stopped showing a picture but we still had sound; we could hear them coming and going but had no idea what they were up to. Finally, last weekend, DH got the camera working, and we saw this.

Tit sitting on nest
Mama Tit  was sitting on a finished nest. This years nest has been built slightly out of camera-shot but  further away from the bird box entrance than last year. This is going to make surveying the nest contents more difficult but may be safer for the babies. Especially as this year, we have the cats who have full access to the garden. Luckily they are very lazy cats and do seem to spend a lot of time indoors, but they are a worry when you have baby birds around.

Looking at the dates from last year, we assumed that  Mama Tit would be laying, or preparing to lay her eggs, but yesterday afternoon I checked the camera and found this.

New tit chicks
Babies! We have babies, and they look about a week old. These babies are at least 2 weeks ahead of where last year’s chicks were at the same time. Two weeks is a long time in bird world!

There was still one egg there yesterday, but I haven’t seen it today, so maybe it’s hatched?

I think there are five or six babies, going by this picture, so not as many as last year ( nine?). Perhaps this will increase their chances of survival?

We’ll have to wait and see.

How many babies?