Six days old and the two stock dove chicks are already losing their fluff as their new feathers appear. In only three weeks time they’ll be fully fledged and will have left the nest.
Sooner than we expected: the stock dove eggs have hatched to reveal two tiny yellow wriggling balls of feathers.
The two stock dove eggs are being well looked after in the other barn owl nest box, with both parents taking turns to incubate them. Not long before hatching!
When the stock dove left the nest a few days ago (after unsuccessfully incubating a single egg) we took the opportunity to check over the nest box and move the camera. Within a day the stock dove returned and is now sitting on two new eggs. No sign of the male so she’s in for a long self-isolation. Quite determined behaviour!
A flock of house martins has descended on the lake to collect mud for their nest building. We thought they were swallows but the white rump, shorter tail and lack of red on the face = house martin.
Tipton’s Croft isn’t always about owls!
The lake has filled and improved enought to add some native fish, so in goes a bucket of roach, accompanied by some expert advice.
So must be a Common Blue Damselfly, sitting on a new water lilly leaf.
A group of Greylag Geese descended on the lake today, just for a brief stop over, which is just as well because the lake’s a bit small for geese, who would make a lot of mess and annoy* the tadpoles.
Swarms of them in the field, usually appearing on the 25th of April (St Mark’s Day) but a day late this year because it’s a leap year?! Weird-looking things dangling their legs in the air, but they don’t bite and are good pollinators so we’re letting them do their thing.
With few predators (no fish in the lake) the taddies have taken over. We might have a bit of a problem if they all turn into frogs and toads!
Here’s the stock dove minding its own business on the nest when a jackdaw comes in and tries to get the eggs. Dove 1 Jackdaw 0.
Update 2020.04.11 Unfortunately the jackdaw eventually won when the dove decided enough was enough and abandoned the nest.
At last the new nest box is being used properly, but not by the owls. A squirrel has spent the past few days filling it with nest material and it has now laid an egg. Hopefully the first of a few (squirrels lay up to eight each year). Won’t be long before we have lots of cute little baby critters!
The frogs and toads have been busy as you can see: clump of frogspawn on the right, strings of toadspawn on the left.
Lots of frogspawn in the lake, and now happy toads all over the place too.
There have been no owls in the new nest box for a few days, so others have taken advantage of the opportunity. Not sure who’s going to win the bidding war for this desirable location
We think weasel – quite small, but we couldn’t see the tail which would have decided things.
A Yellow-Tail moth caterpillar, we think!
You can’t have a wildflower meadow without bees, so thanks to Sue and Glynn we have lots of them.
A nest in the old shelter full of robin chicks (five, we think!).