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March 2008 -2-

13 March

The sky is always overcast, but the weather just settled down. 13°C.

As usual, Madame returned to bed every night.

This time, it's started; she is full engaged in the construction activity of the nest since two days.


Ceaseless comings and goings to bring moss, a large portion, in fact, too large portion. She has some difficulties to judge the diameter of the entry and the tuft decidedly does not enter.


She forces, retries from another angle, clings better and success entering, losing half of her load!


She found a good source of moss, not very far, in the inner garden in our building. We can follow her, harvesting the moss and taking off to our balcony.

He is not involved in the construction of the nest. He often accompanies her, stands guard next to the nest box. He quickly drives away the great tit which comes to our balcony to sing lengthily and aloud. The latter uses all the possible variations of his song, and sometimes I do not even recognize her. As she comes often here to sing, I think its nest should be nearer than last year.

TassageShe will pack this moss by pushing it against the walls with her body. One can see here the movements that I called "fan" which find their explanation here. Okay, at first glance, the result seems rather a chance result, but it works. Slowly the moss will settle and the centre will become hollow to form the nest cup.


This video was taken with the colour camera, I took advantage of the sun to add a little light that did not disturbed her I still leave the photos with the IR camera, and I will switch, from time to time, to colour in the hours of the day when the nest box is already naturally well-lit.


14 March


Under an overcast sky the construction of the nest continued actively.

Moss is packed against the walls of the nest box and the center is clear.

Watch VIDEO   (726ko 20s) 



15 March

Mild weather. 17 °C in the afternoon.


The first ladybug wakes up and leaves its shelter where she spent the winter (in diapause). A tasty viola pot, where I spotted beautiful plump aphids, awaits her. I hope it will have girlfriends. (The balcony has no insecticide treatment.)

Probable Asian lady beetle (harmonia axyridis).


16 March


Day of rain and strands of straw.



17 March

Prunus et mésange

Beautiful sun early this morning. 6 °C

The prunus is in bloom and interest very much the tits that remove the petals one by one, to reach the heart of the flower. Pink snow.

The acrobats hang on small twigs of the tree.


Acrobats also when it comes to enter with a nice tuft of moss through this tiny entrance.





Come back to our couple of wood pigeons, cooing gently in their window box. We belong to their territory.

There are a lot this year. Between 11am and noon every day a flock of about thirty pigeons fly southward, leaving Paris.


18-19 March


There is cold, wind and showers. Not eager to leave. She leaves the nest box earlier and earlier in the morning.

The big construction activity has slowed. She continues to bring twigs. Frequent nest felting.



20 March

Cold sun this morning (5 °C).
With the light, at 6:30, she was already out. Same packing activities. The moss and twigs begin to be high. She keeps the centre clear.




21 March

Wind and rain under a grey sky do not incite to wake up. As usual after a short tour at the door, she gets back to bed and she will leave only a quarter of an hour later.




A ray of sun and our friend the greenfinch comes to pose for a moment.


22 March

Tormented day. wind, hail, cold.


At 6:40, the sun rises, Madame too.

The tender clematis did not withstand the winds. Its shoots are broken.


23 March

It freezes in this morning of Easter Sunday. The wind subsided.


24 March37

Always the wind. 5 °C
Alternating sunshine and grey. Small rain.

Oddly enough, this year she doesn't try to enlarge the entrance of the nest box. She continues to mat the nest moss regularly, but believes that for the moment, the work is sufficiently advanced, and she doesn't bring anymore materials to the nest box.



Are you there? He sometimes dares enter the nest box after much hesitation. If she is near, she enters immediately behind him, who exits as a jack-in-the-box.



Monsieur great tit comes to sing his head off.


He would not be outdone. The high branches of the prunus and the birch advance outside the building, they are a good observation post and singing there bears very far.


It is 7:30am. A big 'poc' against the glass. A sparrow hit the window and I see it fly away vertically. Curious. This happened once or twice with young or when fights break out. One day, a sparrow, the window being open, entered, traversed the apartment and emerged on the other side by another window. It must still wonder how he ended up on the other side!

But this morning, almost simultaneously, a shadow, a magnificent kestrel falcon, rushed to the balcony pursuing four sparrows which took refuge on the ground between the potted plants. This time I saw it very well. It is certainly a kestrel falcon. He tries to continue the hunt on the ground, but they are well hidden and it is constrained to pass through the leaves of the hydrangea. I approached and probably, seeing me, he hesitates, perches on the edge of the balcony and waives.

More doubt about previous visits. This is the third time in recent months.


26 mars

Grey sky, 12°C.

MatinIn the morning, like a lot of people, she has some difficulties to decide to rise even though he comes for her and call for awakening. He looks into the nest box, sings and sings again but she needs a good moment before deciding. She put the head at the door, looks lengthily and then goes back to sleep. This doing can happen four or five times.

Watch VIDEO   (852ko 22s)


Today, big business to complement the nest, she made me lie.

She spent the morning bringing moss and twigs and spent very long time in the nest box.

Watch VIDEO   (1152ko 36s)

Maybe it is necessary to leave the first layer of moss settle and dry?

The morning is active but in the afternoon they are present and have their habits. Generally, we do not see them from 16h until she returns to bed, currently around 19h.


28 March


Dawn full of promises this morning. Leave early (6:30 am) and the rest of the day under a grey sky (10 °C).

A nice little parade this morning. Around 6:30, the mixed colours of a jay attract the eye on the poplar, happy to see him again. He did not stay long.

Later in the morning, "our" blackbird arrives, we see him pass often move by now. He sings lengthily in the garden early in the morning, while it is still dark. A brood like last year? Probable.

Finally, the greenfinch in turn makes us a visit while dunnock sings in the garden.

Why! No great tits. Their breeding are generally in advance compared to the blue tits ones.


The blue tits? They are here and well here, they do not leave the nest box and the balcony during all the morning. He sings and sings, his little phrase repeated indefinitely. He does not tire! Perhaps we... No, it's not true; we like to hear him singing.

She enters and leaves the nest box, no construction today. She decided to inspect the camellia in search of insects ... and snare the photographer. The sparrows also look for insects and spend time to scrutinize the plants of viola that are attacked by aphids. Thanks to them, continue my friends.

Elle et le caméliac



                                Say aaaa!

(Watch a larger photograph.
Pictures with a larger version will henceforth be framed)


Lui Elle

Here they are both of them. Guess who's who.


888It is 17:30; it's raining gently. They left since 14h. She spent the nights in the nest box for a month (February 27). Last year at the same date of 28 March, the female remained to sleep in the nest box for the first time and, on April 6 and laid the first egg.

A sparrow is on the nest box and she does not like it at all and protests.

Arranging the centre of the nest, upside down. Later we will see her often in this position, plunging deeper.




Around 18h he finally arrives. He began to call, changing feverishly his position on the balcony. His belle is not here! It will call her non-stop for 20 minutes until she finally arrives. They will leave together. La belle will come back at about 19h and will spend ten minutes

enjoying the last rays of sunshine, accommodating its feathers before going to bed.


29 March

The weather is fine, warm day, the spring arrived.

Rise early this morning, 6:20.

You go out?

Tu viens?


30 March

Rain, rain and still more rain.


31 March

Yesterday the sleeping beauty leaved at 6:30. With the change to the daylight saving time, we thought that shi will awake an hour latter at about 7:20, 7:30. Well no!

It was 6:50 and she has already leaved! Does the tit is aware of the clock change, and she decided to apply the summer schedule? Or she decides to exit not only in terms of light but also in terms of the city noise?

We will see tomorrow.


Also they work hard to build.

Our friend she-sparrow benefits of cotton, available to builders.



Dame blue tit has not been tempted. She stacks always moss, but the nest does not contain yet softness like feathers, horsehair.

Watch VIDEO   (1724ko 39s) 


CoccinelleThis is the copy of a call to report the firsts seeing of the Asian ladybug (Harmonia axyridis) in France this spring.

Le 15 March je vous présentais la petite coccinelle sortie du coin de ma fenêtre (précocement). Ses copines ne vont pas tarder à sortir. Alors avis de recherche de l'observatoire permanent  de la coccinelle asiatique:

"La petite vague de mauvais temps étant finie, l'amélioration des conditions météorologiques devrait favoriser l'activité des Coccinelles asiatiques. Fini le repos hivernal, place à la reproduction ! Dans les prochains jours, vous devriez observer des coccinelles actives autour des fenêtres qui essaient de rejoindre la verdure. N'hésitez pas à nous transmettre vos observations, elles nous permettent de tenir à jour la carte d'évolution nationale :
Nous sommes preneur de toutes les infos, même dans les départements où elle est supposée abondante... Comme vous pouvez le voir, elle occupe désormais une grande partie de notre territoire. Nul doute que les observations se multiplieront cette année en Bourgogne, Franche-Comté, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Bretagne, Limousin... merci de nous en informer. Certains d'entre vous ont observé l'espèce à l'automne dernier, il est toujours temps de nous transmettre les infos.
En cas de doute sur la détermination, vous pouvez nous envoyez (aux correspondants régionaux désignés) des clichés pour validation... même s'il s'agit d'espèces indigènes, c'est avec plaisir que nous vous aiderons à leur donner un nom.
Comme vous pouvez le voir sur le site internet, l'Observatoire contribue au suivi de cette espèce en Europe. Ce phénomène est aujourd'hui loin de concerner la Belgique, les Pays-Bas, la Grande-Bretagne et la France, il s'agit d'une problématique européenne, voir la synthèse cartographique :
Vinc. TERNOIS Observatoire permanent pour le suivi de la Coccinelle asiatique "



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