The birds and the bees

Finally, after a very wet and cool few weeks, the world seems to be waking up again and we are starting to see productivity.

On the chicken front, Lorna seems to has realised that it is spring and is laying most days now. Esme has laid right through the winter with a break of no more than two days between eggs. Gytha, however, is not participating in this abundance and is standing around looking glum, puffed up like a football – she perks up for slugs, but otherwise she seems to be waiting for the sunshine (she loves sunbathing and is often found on the back doorstep doing her impersonation of roadkill when the sun is warm). Like Chicken Nuggets, our girls like to lay in the same box, even when two of them need to do so at the same time…

Always using the same box!

There is another perfectly good box, but they are not interested… they don’t even use it for sleeping in!

But they are not the only birds laying in our garden. A couple of years ago we had the fascias replaced on the house – there was a corner where they were rotting and blue tits had been nesting in the gap under the eaves over the summer. Of course the workmen cleared out all the nest material (long since vacated) and the hole was sealed. Not wanting to make our visitors homeless for the next breeding season we put up a nest box close to the old gap. Mr Snail-of-happiness loves electronics and installed a tiny infra-red tv camera so that we could see what was going on in there. We had residents last year, and I’m pleased to say that we have them again this year:

Nesting Blue tit

There (s)he is, on our tv screen… Mr S-o-h managed to count six eggs as she was rearranging them and the nest yesterday. I’m not sure when they will hatch, but once they do, watching them on the tv will be another way to waste lots of time!

I’m also pleased to begin seeing insects again – an Orange-tip butterfly yesterday in the sunshine and a few bumblebees (one so large it was having problems getting out of the fruit cage!). However, the clouds are gathering again, so I think that we’ll have to wait a bit longer for spring proper to begin.

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