#30DaysWild No 4. Blue Tits In A Gate Post

Today’s Random Act of Wildness is to top up the mealworms we put out for the birds. It’s an important food source at the moment because parents are struggling to feed their broods – like this one. But just look where these blue tits chose to nest!

The gate is just by our main kitchen door at the Wheatland farmhouse, and the parents have been busily provisioning their chicks, going in and out of the hole. The youngsters are getting increasingly noisy, even when humans lumber past, and they look like they are getting ready to leave any day now. We’ll watch out for them in our courtyard.

Other birds that really like the extra food are the blackbirds. They are finding it tricky to get worms out of the sun-baked soil (even despite yesterday’s rain). The nest over the door at Beech Lodge successfully fledged, and so, we think, did the one by the kids’ bikes. So that’s good news.

Actually, there’s birds nesting all around the eco lodges. Sparrows are going in under the eaves at Nuthatch Lodge, and they also love they ivy against Otter Cottage.

Meanwhile, actual nuthatches have been nesting outside Honeysuckle Lodge, and have raised a brood (here’s a post about the same nestbox from last year) and the thrushes have gone from their nest by the outside tap.

Even our chickens seem to have got the bug and decided to go broody. Sometimes mother hen gives up though, so we won’t be counting any chicks before they hatch. Last year the same bird sat on eggs for a couple of weeks and then they all disappeared. We think maybe a stoat found and raided her nest box.

There have been so many low down and nearby nests this year we think we may have to ask guests to keep dogs on leads around the lodges over the summer. It would be such a shame to accidentally wreak carnage on all these cuties!

#30DaysWild Previously

This time last year: Wheatland Farm was celebrating foxgloves in the rain

This time in 2018 We were picking lemon balm for an alternative tea

This time in 2017 We found a nest on Popehouse Moor