The Bird Box Diary
December/January - 2002
An introduction - After two successful nesting seasons in 2000 and 2001 the signs are promising so far for this Spring.
Since last June I had not seen any birds in the box at all, but on 26 December a Great Tit entered the box while its partner(?) perched nearby on the Birch tree. This is the only visit to the box by a Great Tit that I have ever recorded.
By the end of December, daytime Blue Tit visits to the box had restarted (repeating last season's behaviour).
During those first visits, the box had to be defended against a rival, and Blue Tits were seen chasing away others at the bottom of the garden.
As we entered January a few very cold days saw very few visits being made until 6 January when activity picked up again with the return of milder weather.
In one four hour period there were 15 visits to the box. On one occasion the Blue Tit seemed to be chased to the box by a House Sparrow, which then approached the box several times as the Blue Tit defended the entrance.
At a time when the box was enpty it was approached by a Robin that took a brief look into the entrance before flying off.
9 January - Family matters have prevented me from paying much attention to garden matters over the last few days. In the times I have been home, I have seen the box being visited by Blue Tits numerous times.
12 January - No new developments over the last few days. Daily Blue Tit visits continue, mainly in the mornings.
18 January - Visits to the box continue, more frequently in the mornings, some lasting several minutes as the Blue Tit inspects every bit of the interior of the box.
In the times that I have been able to watch I haven't seen any incidents where the box has needed defending over the last week.
19 January - Taking some time to relax this morning, I turned on the video recorder just in time to capture this year's first observed moment when there were two birds in the box.
In the upper picture the BT (I shall call B1) already in the box is, I think a female (very poor dark stripe down its front). When the other bird (B2) came to the entrance, B1 went into a somewhat submissive position, crouched low on the floor.
A few moments later B1 flew up to the top left of the entrance before landing back down at the left of the box. B2 then entered the box and landed on the right (lower picture). As soon as it landed B1 left the box.
Since this happened at about 10am there have been very frequent visits by just a single bird.
30 January - In the last two days since I returned home I have not spent much time box watching but I can report that the box continues to receive Blue Tit visits.