Highlights from 2023

2023 saw a family of Great Tits set up home in the nest box. Mrs. Beak spent weeks setting up the nest and then laid nine eggs, all of which hatched, with seven of them fledging successfully.

This is one of the chicks on the tree opposite the box. It might be Bruiser, but it's probably one of his larger siblings, as it was taken a while after he left. Good luck Beaks!

The visiting beaks

Highlights of the beak visits this year.

20/05/2023: The last 3 beaks leave the nest. All left within a day. Even when there were only two left, one was sitting on top of another. So cute. Good luck, beaks.
20/05/2023: Three of the Beakers fly the nest. They hop up to the entrance and exercise their wings for a while before taking the plunge. More room for the rest of them, but they still like to sit on top of each other.
18/05/2023: They are getting big now, and starting to test their wings. The second part shows how huge Bruiser is - almost as big as his Mum. If you look at his back, you'll see there's no pink skin visible because he's got all his feathers.
17/05/2023: Sound up! I recorded some chick peeping noises with my phone. Utterly adorable. Next year they are getting miked up.
17/05/2023: It's pretty chocka in the nest now. If you can make it to the top of the pile you have enough room to do some preening and stretch your wings.
14/05/2023: The size of the chicks means there is only enough room for 5 or 6 at the top of the pile. It's mayhem at feeding time.
10/05/2023: The arrow shows the chick with its eyes open. *Warning graphic pooing in this clip* This clip also shows how hard the parents have to work to feed all the chicks and clean up all their poo.
09/05/2023: The littlest one (top left) almost gets fed, but has the meal plucked out again and is then kicked in the throat by a sibling as they turn over to have a poo.
05/05/2023: Life inside the nest 1: Both parents feeding at a blistering pace - a feed every 20 seconds here.
05/05/2023: Life inside the nest 2: The kids getting under your feet all the time. And in your feathers.
05/05/2023: Life inside the nest 3: Efficient feeding and poo collection. First Mr. B does a textbook feed, fecal sac retrieval and out. Then Mrs. B. does the same, except she eats the fecal sac. Yum.
05/05/2023: Life inside the nest 4: Dealing with blockages. The huge juicy spider won't break up into smaller pieces, so she jams it down a random beak. After a while it's clear it's not going down, so she picks it out and eats it herself.
03/05/2023: There are a few frames here where you can definitely count 9 mouths. 2 and 4 are closed, the rest open.
02/05/2023: I thought there were only 7, but there's an 8th at the top left, sleeping.
01/05/2023: Mr. B. comes in with some grub and gets distracted by the camera - "Has that thing always been there?" Mrs. B. has to peck him a few times to remind him that he should be out getting food.
01/05/2023: Ever wondered what happens to the egg shells? Wonder no longer.
01/05/2023: Oh, hang on, there's four of them now... Better keep shoving the food in!
01/05/2023: Two eggs have hatched. Mr. and Mrs. Beaks look somewhat shellshocked, like they don't quite know what to do. Best just to shove food in the yellow holes and keep them warm. Oh wait, there's three now...
24/04/2023: The job is far more than just sitting on eggs. As well as turning them, you also have to make sure you look after yourself with regular preening.
18/04/2023: More deliveries of delicious insects for Mrs. Beak, as she starts brooding her 8 eggs.
16/04/2023: Mr. B. brings in a snack for Mrs. B. as she tends to the nest.
14/04/2023: Four eggs in her nest now. Brilliant work, Mrs. B!
11/04/2023: The first egg appears! Popped out some time between 6.04am and 6.24am.
09/04/2023: A goodnight snack for Mrs. B. from Mr. B..
07/04/2023: Fluffy fluff is fluffy.
04/04/2023: Moss and lichens are now the main construction materials.
03/04/2023: The nest building continues.
01/04/2023: The Beaks start to build a nest.
31/03/2023: Mr. Beak comes in again.
30/03/2023: Mr. Beak comes calling and has a look around the box with Mrs. Beak. It's a bit of a squeeze. (1 minute 2 seconds)
22/03/2023: I thought she was hiding from something nasty flapping around outside the bird box, but I think this is her trying to entice Mr. Beak into the box. (2 minutes 2 seconds)
28/02/2023: Wanton vandalism from the Great Tit, reproduced in appalling quality. Then the quality gets worse as she has a preen and settles down for the night. (2 minutes 16 seconds)
26/02/2023: The Great Tit hides from a threat at the entrance, then comes back to clear out a pellet of insect poo. Later, the Blue Tit pops in and out. (1 minute 34 seconds)
13/02/2023: Pecking, flapping and fighting. This video has got so much stuff I've had to add text. (2 minutes 35 seconds)
11/02/2023: The Great Tit has her turn in inspecting the box. I wonder how many other potential nest sites she has? (1 minute 8 seconds)
07/02/2023: The Blue Tit has a closer look at the camera. Everything in the nest box is being checked over thoroughly by both birds, but which one will make it her nest? Are they even aware of each other and the potential competition? (14 seconds)
06/02/2023: The Great Tit has a nosey around. I don't know if they watch each other going in or not, but when this was filmed, the Blue Tit was going in less - only once for every two Great Tit visits (1 minute 17 seconds)
01/02/2023: The Blue Tit comes in for a good peck around to check out the quality. She's having a go at the entrance make sure it's strong enough. You can see flecks of sawdust (beak dust?) in the air occasionally (2 minutes 40 seconds)