Thursday, 27 March 2014

Has the duck nest box been abandoned?

Since Lonely 'borrowed' the nest box from the mallard that had laid most of the eggs it seems to have been abandoned.  For two days no ducks have entered it, only glanced briefly at the covered eggs and moved away.

Ring Neck has been hanging around quite a bit and her mate has investigated the other nest box at least three times since yesterday afternoon.  Somehow she doesn't seem overly interested so I'm not sure what is happening.  We haven't had any ducks checking out the garden deck either so perhaps they've all settled for alternative nesting sites at the moment.

Ring Neck on one of the nest box planks

This morning I was amazed to see one of the crows swoop down on a pigeon that was busy feasting on some wheat I'd put out for the mandarin duck. The pigeon got away and I wasn't sure whether the crow was trying to kill the pigeon or merely chase it away from a source of food.  

A pair of magpies and a pair of Jays are visiting the garden on a regular basis and, for the first time since the floods, I saw two long tailed tits at our feeders.

Because of the cold weather both the mandarin duck pair and the pochard pair have been turning up to be fed.  It's surprising how quickly they get used to my presence.

As the season progresses more and more birds are becoming territorial and this morning we watched as a great crested grebe drove off a rival.  They have very sharp beaks and when they fight each other it is quite dramatic to watch.

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