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March 2010

March 4th

After the pause in this journal, in the balcony, meanwhile, spring finally begins to happen fast.

In nest box since mid-February we visit, not many but regular visits from the blue tits. The most interested? Our single blue, perched on a birch, sings, sings. There will be one who passes by?

The great tit does not seem concerned by a nesting box. I think they chose to nest rather in the little public garden nearby.

A bit of make up to do so, some pictures of our visitors to start to make up the last days.




The visits take place mainly when the sun shines on the nest box in the morning.
The pair of blue visited several times and once both entered the nest box, a good sign but not repeated.
Fingers crossed.


Leaving in the morning sun.
If the nuts intrigue you ... they allow changing the size of the entry hole to allow great and blue to enter or only the blue ones!

Continues tomorrow.

March 5th


Blue sky and cool sunshine: songs from everywhere. Great tits and blue ones sing on the balcony. A wood pigeon alight a moment. The kestrel and put a claw briefly before departing (I prefer when it hunts elsewhere!).

The same visitors, a couple of great tits, a couple of our little blues and a bachelor blue.

Scenes of the nest box...

.Hidden in the corner, this blue tit has not moved for a long time.

Outside, a couple of great tits, curious, approached the nest box. Just to see, but they seem to have scared the little blue, which had finally found the courage to enter the nest box.
The great tits moved away and the blue came out without a hitch.

What do you do when you visit?

Watch VIDEO   (668ko 48s)

These curious movements of wings that are made during the initial visits.
They are not systematic in each entry. I do not know why this movement is made but it looks as if the tit verifies the correct size of the space as if it measured the home. It will make very similar movements to pack stuff in the nest.

March 6th

Cold again, 5 °C and a strong chilly wind.

March 7th

Very cold, it freezes again, -3 ° this morning, and a strong chilly wind from the north-east.

Tastes and colours... 

The previous entries of tits in the nest box were fairly short and not very frequent. Since March 2th, there where no more entries in our nest box, the one installed last year, with the IP camera.

Some days, portions of tits on the balcony but no entries while the previous years when interested tits passed, they entered at least once during their passage. So given the limited success of last year our new nest box, the big tower, we had some fears. We wondered if our new nest box was a problem. So we had the idea to install just to see the old small birdhouse.

We have set provisional quickly hooked.

Well! Almost immediate success! That one pleases. We enter, we visit, we look, there waits a long time.

Outcome, we had to dive quickly into the use of webcams and reconnect the acquisition of said cameras to the computer. The 6th was a day of visits, with long stays in the nest box (up to five minutes), nibbling the door, stay at the entry of several minutes. Enter both of them briefly, the male first, followed immediately by the female and the male that comes out rather quickly. Today, despite the biting cold, visits continue blithely. Certainly it seems that our great tour is not to their liking. Why? Shape of the box? Transparent glass plate? Ceiling too high? Looks like something is wrong.

.Anyway in the little birdhouse one seems to feel well. A very nice little flat.
We will need to adjust the cameras, webcams are not well positioned but for this we will have to wait for the night so as not to disturb them. Too bad for live images as possible with the IP camera!


Their decision is perhaps not yet taken, but the visits are much more important and constant than to the "tower".




The former small nest box is located very near our window, almost against the wall. We were told that this was dissuasive but it did not seem to care about.
It is hard to say whether the couple is the same one that we have seen regularly on the balcony or if it is formed by the former solitary which is not alone anymore. We have reviewed the three together only once several days ago. I favour for the usual couple but they are so difficult to differentiate.


The male entered twice in the beginning, then all entries are those of the female, she is recognizable when you see them together, because she is much smaller and the behaviour of the male wings lowered and shoulders raised, chasing her, is easily recognizable.

They do not come in the afternoon.

20h: brrr! Recovery of the box, cold! and adjustment of cameras.

March 8th

It freezes again, the wind is always present, but there is chilly sunshine and a beautiful sky. Rarely in the Paris sky is that deep blue, the atmosphere is clean of any trace of fog, crystalline, and we see very far.

He arrived alone this morning, enters, notes that the nesting box is empty and exit to start singing, then goes away.

9:30 here he is again, a glimpse at the small nest box, a little song, he waits. Arrival of his betrothed, then great chase, goodness, it's getting hot here!
It enters the nest box, followed immediately by the female and it re-appears as ejected like a Jack in the box. I find always funny its precipitation. The morning was spent in chases, visits of the nest box by the female. Long visits, long waits at the door, several "fan".

.The photos are currently in IR, I would not trouble her with the artificial light put up too suddenly.



;Madame et her window.


Long, very long poses at the entry, she looks lengthily.

One went to hang at the entrance of large nest box but did not enter. Too bad that our beautiful new apartment has not their preference, there will not be streaming live. The small birdhouse has just webcams but no IP cameras. Then photos! But it's already wonderful to see then anyhow.


The small birdhouse is very near the window (which you can see the left jamb), I'll have to cheat to go in the balcony but we dare not move. There is a lot less sun in the corner, only early in the morning a little more difficult also for outdoor photos. In the background at right the new unused big birdhouse.

Perhaps they would have finally adopted the large birdhouse if we had not installed the old one, perhaps, but we will never know... and for now until the nest is started it is too early to say whether the small one has really been adopted.

March 9th 

Frost, icy wind, nothing changed!

.The female "bellow" on the photo. He has just entered but will leave immediately.



A sunray last week and a likeness of spring have pulled the wall lizard from his hibernation and it comes out slowly from his hiding place for sunbathing on his door.



Not far away, the Buff-tailed Bumblebee (I think), a queen out of hibernation, starts feeding eagerly on the first yellow anemones.
It will soon seek a cavity to lay eggs.

(S&M 040310)

March 10th 

The same: wind, cold, frost.

Spring is gone, tits also. No entry in yesterday afternoon, but few birds at this time. Even the sparrows have deserted the balcony. The wind still blows strong straight on the balcony. No entry today either and a desert on the balcony. Because of cold and wind? The songs of last week subsided, almost no birds in an unpleasant wind.

They are there as every year. They come to take shelter every evening.

Every evening (about 18:30 right now) for several weeks, they arrive by the thousands. They arise by successive waves on the terraces surrounding or on the highest cranes when the wind is not too violent, otherwise they prefer to settle lower. The starlings take a break on my building, before continuing their journey to the night roost (as the BNF). The noise is deafening.


(A quick glance in the bottom to the rock of the Vincennes Zoo).


Installed on my poplar! They are heavy and still beautifully mottled.



March 11th

It freezes again this morning but much less wind.
Return of blue tits and great tits.

Return and again visits all day (until 15:30 every 15-30mn).


March 12th 

The wind subsided. Weather is grey but milder (6°C).

Happy chase of blue tits, Mr great tit embarked on a long singing tour, before being joined by his betrothed and their turn to play catch-me from branch to branch. I never saw again the third blue tit.

.Always in the small nest box, the tower is empty.
We visit, we look to the right, left, listens, and sometimes it sits there daydreaming.
What are the tit dreams?

Watch VIDEO   (174ko,15s)

Someone must have got too close, she protests vigorously. Maybe it was him, which is allowed only a brief passage or one of those big clingy sparrows.

On average, she stays three minutes in the nest box, goes to the door, leaves, waits outside, the enters turns, leaves again... Its passages are still very variable, sometimes every twenty minutes, sometimes it can take two hours before coming back.

A big bablerbeak, the Garrulus ...


The Jay. (Garrulus glandarius) Geai des chênes.

Busy enjoying an acorn with three friends, he accepted to be approached gradually.
An opportunity to see his very fair eyes.


"Garrulous" means loquacious; talkative.
From Latin garrulus, from garrire, to chatter.


March 13th 

Grey but mild, 8°C.
A little colour at last.


March 14th 

13th and 14th: curiously, no appearance in the afternoon. Grey and mild.

.They cross.

A sparrow hung at the entrance at right. The tail spread, she will remain as seen, motionless, while he, wings spread and raised shoulders hunts the intruder.


March 15th


Finally, spring is in the air: blue sky, 12 degrees C.
Under this beautiful sunshine, frequent entries, frequent nibbles of the entry.

No, I have nothing higher for him!
He perches there to sing and to survey on top of the birch.


First bits of moss! Well, quite small but it's a start.

That she hastens to pack ...

All velvet ...

.Nice encounter.

The buck still bears right now, beautiful red velvet.

The roe deer antlers regrow since 3 months.

They are soft and covered with velvet. He loses this protective velvet that begins to fall in April until June.


On his side, his large eyed doe.


They saw us, of course, and perhaps well before us!

This overview (300mm telephoto) shows their safe distance. They accepted us at that distance, but not closer.


March 16th 

Spring! 14 °C  blue sky.

Construction is well begun, moss accumulates.

.It brings beakfuls of green moss.
The moss is green (not visible here in IR, but I put a little light to check). The same type of moss than previous years. It seems to be the only kind that suits!

Periodically a little "pack on"..

Watch VIDEO   (128ko,10s)

Watch VIDEO   (280ko,18s)


I think she's brought a dozen moss clumps, guess made looking at the photos of the day.
She has brought nothing after her return around 16:30, although it
made frequent visits and several packing.

As in the other years, she brings material a part of the day.
This morning many entries and exits and this afternoon, building up until 15h.
Then they both disappeared to return around 16:30 but without bringing new moss.
Finally, she comes back and tosses and packs the moss at end of the day. To dry it? She begins to accumulate the moss on the door side of the box. As usual in this birdhouse!

Ah! No!
Get out of there, will you?

Well, perhaps he just wanted to help?

But it will not.
Actually it is the female alone who built the nest. And for that, she has her ideas, it must be perfect.
He, he accompanies her, encourages her with his songs. He enters rarely, always first when he do and leaves immediately. He will be allowed to enter only when she starts sleeping in the nest and is ready to spawn and, of course, when she broods.
But we're not there yet...

March 17th

Spring time, 17 °C, blue sky.

. March 17th: nest building continues and is progressing very quickly.

The bottom is almost covered at the end of the day

March 18th 

Spring really! Since yesterday, 18 °C sky grey. Thin veil of clouds.


.Weather is fait and mild, work is progressing fast.

Moss, still moss.

The small birdhouse is not so well placed and she alights in places not favourable for the photo. At least I'm not used to this place and it is less easy. Too bad! It's so wonderful to see them.

Thanks to them for their confidence. They do not come here to play the stars but hope to have found a good spot for their brood. No problem, we will turn as discrete as possible and ensure the necessary calm.



He sings, installed in birch while Madame works!


And she swots!

Watch VIDEO   (986ko,22s)

Watch VIDEO   (1536ko,32s)

.It's her. Difficult to see her better when she comes, as she rushes directly in the nest box without stopping. It never alights in the entry, and she is so quick!


Conversely, the exit can be slow; she likes to stay so, her head at the window.

.Clinging to the door? It can be only him, looking if she is inside.

If they are together, now he often enters first, she follows and he leaves immediately.


He even cast a glance occasionally in the large nest box, why not!


Him in a "belle époque" hair dressing.

In their attitude they are easy to distinguish. Also, the male is much larger than the female.

This afternoon, at 16h, I heard a characteristic "tit-tit" very delicate and soft.
Hey! Yes, they tread on the balcony.


A few minutes later, she just brought into the nest box other materials than moss. Almost we do not see the floor anymore. First thread (something like that).

We're putting a very low lighting, to see if she has no objection.

18th: first mating observed on the balcony.


Good night!

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