The Bird Box Diary
March(Part 2) 2003
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Today's activities started early with the female shuffling before 8am. Things then went quiet until around 10.30am when there was a sudden burst of activity in which several beakfuls of moss were gathered from by the big pond and deposited in the box.
This activity was short-lived and the box was quiet again with only the occasional visit through the rest of the day.
The male was seen pecking at the wood around the entrance, but it did not go in.
19 March - Another quiet day with just a few deliveries of a small amount of nesting materials.
Again, the male made an appearance at the entrance but did not go into the box.
The sequence starts with the box as it looked first thing in the morning. The female was soon in, shuffling the contents into the corner. Then the deliveries started and continued, in bursts af activity, interspersed with long gaps, through until the early afternoon.
The last picture shows the box in the late afternoon.
As usual, the male made his appearance at the entrance a couple of times without entering the box.
21 March - The weather has continued dry, but it has been cloudy, cooler, and after yesterday's good progress, today has seen no construction work going on.
There were a number of visits during the morning, but none were seen in the afternoon. The two images show the box this morning and then this evening.
22 March - Having been out all day I am relying on a large number of webcam images recorded during my absence.
There were numerous visits during the morning. I saw a little bit of straw delivered before I left. The webcam only recorded one more delivery - pictured here (or it may have been simply re-arranging things!).
During one visit around 10.30am the female remained in the box for over eight and a half minutes.
This image shows that the male entered the box once today.
23 March - Just a brief note to say that a bit of nesting material, both straw and moss, was brought in during the morning, although the overall appearance of the pile changed very little during the day.
The female visited the box numerous times and she spent time shuffling and picking up bits as she sorted the nesting material. The right hand image shows moss at the entrance. This was being removed from the box, but as I have seen before, some of it was brought back in almost immediately afterwards.
This is an image of the box just before the lighting was switched off for the night. I have included this simply as a record of progress so far.
Visits continued through the afternoon and by the time the light went out for the night the floor was nearly covered.
This image shows the state of the nest by the end of the day, just before 'lights out'.
The male made several appearances today, obviously taking a close look at the developing nest.
A noisy event took place late in the afternoon in the form of a visit by a bumble bee. Coincidently this was also the latest recorded visit by a BT.
The webcam captured these five visits by him, including one when the female arrived with moss while he was inside the box.
It doesn't seem as though a great deal of material was brought in today, although the female's shuffling does compress the developing nest.
29 March - There was definite progress in the nest building today. These two images show the nest at the two ends of the day. between them is a scale to show the depth of the nest, measured against the front of the box.
Throughout the day nearly every visit is accompanied by 'shuffling', with the female turning to point in different directions and repeating the process three or four times.
This image of the nest shows the effect of the female's shuffling in the hour after the first image was captured. You can see how there was more floor exposed as she compacted the nest material around the sides of the box, starting to form the walls around the developing nest cup.
By the middle of the afternoon it was moss that was being brought in again, shuffling going on repeatedly as the new material was packed into the nest walls.
It was after 5.30pm by the time the last visit took place.
30 March - The UK changed to British Summer Time today, and the summer type weather has continued, with warm sunshine again today.
A brief entry just to record progress at the end of a day that saw many visits form just after 7am this morning. The picture shows the last webcam image to be recorded before the main light went out for the night.
31 March - The good weather and good progress both continued throughout the day. This image shows the nest at the end of the day ( although the clock is incorrect - a computer problem means that the clock occasionally loses 1 hour, and that happened at noon today).
As the female shuffles in the nest cup she virtually disappears as the cup becomes deeper. In the next few days I shall be considering turning the camera back into 'landscape' mode and moving it so that it looks down rather more onto the nest.
This morning the box was visited again by a bumble bee. It caught the female by surprise when she entered the box with some bits of straw and a great deal of dust was thrown up into the beam of sunlight entering the box.
The male continues to make quite frequent visits to the box. Before entering he usually spends a great deal of time outside the entrance, pecking at the wood.
During one visit he settled deep in the nest cup and when the female came in with a delivery she landed on top of him!