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April -2- 2010

April 12th

Sunny then overcast, rather cool, 5 - 11 °C, windy from NE.

.That's four!
A variant of this morning. The male left after his favourite songs and then she got out at 6:40. Shortly after, they returned together, she returned to bed again. He quits.


And at 6:51, the fourth egg laying begins.
She will leave the nest around 7:07.



Très peu de passages comme hier, deux visites entre 13h et 14h, c'est tout!

Les œufs sont laissés très découverts.

. .Back at 17:30, she sits to hatch the eggs a little.
When she leaves, she leaves them as they are, they are mottled with russet.

The opportunity for a close up...

She will remain a half-hour to incubate.

Hey, I would eat a little thing...


At once, honey!

A last one?


Was it good?

April 13th

Well overcast and chilly, yet wind from NE, 8 -12 °C.

.6.50 am, she takes the position of laying and rises shortly afterward.

Well, of course, he is there and sings.

She will leave at 7:04 alone, but at no time did I could see clearly the five possible eggs.


Four or five? Hard to say; she kept cutting partially covered the whole morning. Hard to know if the white circle besides the 4 most conspicuous, is an egg!


She makes more passages than yesterday: half a dozen in the morning.
Brought new beautiful new white feathers.

With a little luck, we'll see them better tonight.

Two short passages in the afternoon.
Back at 17:00 for a little tidy up.              Watch VIDEO   (498ko, 33s)

No, not yet visible those eggs!

Some brimstones...

.Brimstones [Gonepteryx rhamni] (citrons) are more and more willing to pose because they are busy foraging now that the flowers are also more numerous.

Of course a long winter it wears your wings a little. This one came out a little crumpled.

It is time to regain strength until it meets his better half. The female will lay in April-May Young brimstones (imagos) open their wings in mid-summer, then after a little vacation, a little summer rest (they "aestivate", reducing their activity during the hottest period), they look like their parents, a good shelter for the winter. Before re-emerging the following spring and in turn spawn the next generation. For parents, the fall will also mark the autumn of their lives. A long life for a butterfly, more than a year.


The male has the upper wings lemon (the female, pale green). One sees here the colour well "lemon", it uses to stay, most often, wings closed, in this position it is difficult to find as it blends with the grass.

It will be five!


19h, she returned as yesterday to incubate a little and tidy the bowl.

And leaving ...

She uncovered the nest bowl.
Does not it seem that it "ready the bed", carefully preparing his couch to got to bed soon and the eggs ready to be directly in contact with her?

19h46, she is back and settled for the night.
Good night!

April 14th

Overcast, much less wind, 7 - 14 °C.

6:40, laying begins accompanied by the little singer.


It is possible to make out the 6.




Surprise tonight.

I think she begins to incubate her six eggs. It is 18:30, she is in the nest since a bit before 16h.

   Watch VIDEO   (1334ko, 2mn)

The tit lays 10 to 12 eggs and begins to brood a little before the end of laying.
The laying is not quite complete when brood begins and usually there are still one or two eggs to come (see previous years).

Are we heading towards a clutch of 8? This is little compared to previous years that were 10, 12 and 10 from 2006 to 2008.
Fewer, they will perhaps more chances to succeed. Maybe I am wrong.

I saw very few insects for the moment. I think there is a big delay of plants growth this year and therefore also in the emergence of insects. In 2008 April 17, he brought her caterpillars. Of caterpillars I haven't seen one yet and I track for several weeks without success, dragonflies (brown emerald damselflies) which last year were already numerous well before this date, at early April.


Pretty, isn't? This beautiful symmetry!
I never get tired.
And this down... obviously, he sticks everywhere.

18:50 she just left, leaving as yesterday, all speckled eggs well uncovered.

She should come back at about 19:50. Well, no: a bit earlier ... 19:20.

All the birds sing everywhere at the moment. There is activity in all the nests! Natural or nest boxes.
On the banks of the Loiret another small family of blue tits, is almost synchronous with our Parisian one, she goes to bed too ... Goodnight.

April 15th

Sun a little cloudy, 11 - 15 °C.

The guard is still there in the morning to sing, but he left early.
This morning he was gone at 6:30.

At 6:35, the seventh egg laying.
She leaves at 7am.

We will have to wait until tonight to see better. It will be increasingly difficult to see them all the morning.

Often in the morning, before leaving, we see a little eye at the entry to inspect for a while. She wakes up gently.


                                                                               I told you that the down sticks everywhere!
                                                                                       She often takes it clinging to her legs.



.Coming out of the nest! The dress is well creased.

.The feathers back in place and smoothed she takes again her feathers pompom appearance.


He, in the evening, when she has already gone to bed, stays often on his favourite branch of the birch, very high, watching the sunset.


A little love? The photos are rare and difficult in the branches. Come on, like that we remain discrete...

.She has been brooding since 13:00 today.
She doesn't absent very long and thus leaves her eggs uncovered short moments from time to time.
Him, I saw him right next to the birdhouse waiting silently as standing guard.



The beautiful reddish mass arrived in late morning.
I'm intrigued, what can have that russet feather or fur?

18:40: he just came to offer her it a nice bite...
18:50: they are both gone. 19h20: she came home for the night.

April 16th

Full sun, 12 - 14 °C

.The eighth one this morning at 6:35. He doesn't stays long. Just a very brief appearance and he's now very quiet.
Now she broods continuously.

She goes out from time to time but always leaves its eggs uncovered because she returns quickly.

At noon, the sun illuminates just the bowl's nest where she lies.

It is possible that this happens to be the last egg. Then, small video:

    Watch VIDEO   (398ko, 45s)

Feel a little peckish, perhaps?

Since last night he comes to feed her.

A small spider last night.

He calls. Madame goes out to eat. Insects (Yes, I know, the spider is not an insect, but...) are essential at this time and his exhausting hunting season begins.


Uh! Who holds who?


This morning, the breakfast. Well, the menu is not varied.
It is not difficult to notice his arrival that he signals, calling her by small tititi. It suffices to crack open the window to trace him.

For now, it has not yet entered in the nest to feed her. Surprising, I thought he would be invited sooner.

It is him at top right. He has just given her his spider.


She seems to have trouble with the spider; the next moment, he takes it back. And it seems that now he is in trouble...


Finally, he makes it trough and gives it back to her.


Poor photos, the morning light is insufficient, we'll try better the next days. There will be time; incubation lasts 12 to 13 days. That means the hatching at the end of the month.

Gaze at  little bugs.

.BeeFly [Bombylius major]. (Grand bombyle) White fur coat.
They are numerous in the spring. It is a dipteran that is recognized in flight by its long legs, his hover and its dazzling departures. It is the hover master.

They parasite on solitary bees by laying at the entrance of their nests.



En flight back legs are like a pendulum and it swings from right to left. The wings beat too fast to be distinct.

.With its long rigid proboscis, it feeds on nectar. The lesser celandine offer him a feast.

They visited the balcony this year but impossible to make them pose briefly for a portrait.



April 17th

Sun, cool. 8°C in the mornig. 17 °C.

.For the first time, he is not here this morning. Silence. We hear him a lot less now anyway.

I really thought there would be no ninth-egg this morning because at her usual time, 6:40, there was nothing.
Nevertheless, I keep the video recording and it took me some searching because the laying was very fast. But there are well nine eggs.

At 6:57.

.She went out at 7:12.

Il est enfin autorisé à entrer. Il commence par appeler, elle répond et il entre. C'est une de ses premières entrées dans le nichoir.

    Watch VIDEO   (104ko, 4s)

In the next video, we see her chirping, like a young chick..

 Watch VIDEO   (220ko, 18s)

It is funny to note that during his first entries, it gives the impression of not knowing where to place himself. Then in the others, he finds his place, and now he places himself almost always on the edge of the bowl on the left.

She just heard the call.

She responds like a chick, we heard her very well.



From time to time she indulges in à longer promenade. She must go hunting. I must say he passes very irregularly.


It is not so easy to get to see the prey that it brings.

He did not stay long even if I put a well placed branch that he seems to like.

Sometimes it does not alight; sometimes he puts just a claw and takes off to rush directly into the nest box, without even stopping at the entry.

I noticed spiders, of course, but also a few flying insects such as this. A wasp? A bee? It happens that a tit hunts a bee, but more often it is the larger great tit that does this. 


Hard to identify them!
Probably again a Spider at right.


For once, she came out to meet him.

Small little spring bugs again...

This elegant little wasp is the European paper wasp.
It's a social wasp, a wasp mason who builds a single layer nest.

These wasps also emerge in the spring after wintering. Those who winter are all inseminated females.
They will regroup and among them, one will become the queen, the other worker bees.


My knowledge is limited on this, but I think this is the Polistes dominulus (because of the top of antennae, black).

It has long been called "Polistes gallicus" but there are actually several species. Dominulus and Gallicus are two separate species.

To learn more: Articles always fascinating at Aramel.

April 18th

Full sun, very mild 10 °C this morning. 20 °C.

.It will be nine.

All round the nest bowl.

He brings the breakfast at 7:11.

Watch VIDEO   (644ko, 44s)

Watch VIDEO   (582ko, 45s)

The eggs are upturned periodically; she plunges at the bottom of the bowl and upturns everyone.

Occasionally she leaves the nest for short periods.


Springtime again...

.Chez Mr. Deer.

In early April, he gradually loses his fine velvet.



The bare antlers appear.


.Another butterfly spring appearance, here is the Orange Tip.
[Anthocharis cardamines - Pieridae]. (Aurora).
The female.



The male is more colorful, orange and white.


The male A small Speckled Wood of spring generation anyway, they came out too. [Pararge aegeria] (Tircis).

They overwinter as caterpillars or pupae.

April 19th

Still full sun  12 - 21 °C.


This morning's sunrise.

Just in the way of the single contrail!
A rarity. The airspace was still closed today, (because, of the now well-known Icelandic volcano).

.Finally, he is back in the box! He had not returned to feed her in the box since yesterday morning 7:30.
I was wondering...

He seldom enters, and we do not see him much.

She comes out and goes to join but they often remain outside the balcony.
Can not see what he can hunt.

.Hey! Again greeneries.


As for feathers, no problem!


.Common Chiffchaff. [Phylloscopus collybita] (Pouillot véloce).

Difficult to determine the species. Chiffchaff, the "chiffchaff" tireless and clear  brow.

But between the Chiffchaff and his neighbour the Willow Warbler it is not simple.

This one has dark legs (clear for the Warbler), relatively short wings and a small white crescent visible under the eye. I think the characteristics of the Common Chiffchaff.



Dame Blackcap. [Sylvia atricapilla] (Fauvette à tête noire)

A nice clear vocals and melodic rises everywhere, is that of the Blackcap. 

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