Activity in the Garden – a tiny piece of Dorset

Female Blackbird
Nest building – mum does all the work 🙂 

I’ve had some interesting activity in my garden over the last week or so 🙂 ! The first thing is that I noticed a female blackbird showing a lot of interest in the clematis that grows up my fence, and it wasn’t long before she was constantly coming and going with her beak full of twigs – she was nest building. The odd and slightly awkward thing is that the nest site she has chosen is right by the house, beside the patio and immediately above the barbecue and chiminea.

Clematis
My Clematis – there’s a nest in there somewhere

I wasn’t sure what to do because I spend a lot of time in my garden and I love to barbecue and I wouldn’t want to have to keep away. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want her deserting the nest because we have disturbed her. I can move the barbecue and chiminea to the other side of the patio which might help a little and I have already been coming and going into the garden in the hopes that if she is spooked by me, at least it is before laying any eggs. Despite this though, she continues to build and seems determined that her nest will be there.

Female Blackbird
Another twig in the wall 🙂 

It is brilliant to watch her and of course, the position of the nest is ideal in that sense because I can watch her through the patio doors 🙂 ! It never ceases to amaze me how birds build nests using just their beaks. Nature is just awesome!

Tree Bumblebee Nest
My Bumblebee Box

The other interesting event concerns my nest boxes which are attached to the garage wall on the opposite side of the garden. The one pictured above has been occupied every year by great tits, and this year, right on cue, they duly arrived. But for the first time they didn’t stop and didn’t nest. This puzzled me and I wondered if there was something wrong with the nest box so last week, I got out my ladder and took a look. And I found out why my great tits didn’t stay – the nest box has been taken over by Tree Bumblebees who have built a nest in there.

Apparently this is a common experience since tree bumblebees like nest boxes, and they cause no problems as long as they are left alone. The nest will die back naturally later in the year and the queen will hibernate. Whether she will start a colony up in the same place next year remains to be seen, but just in case she does, I think I may adapt my blue tit box so that my great tits can use that if they return next year 🙂 !

Female Blackbird
Just making sure the coast is clear

We have had some interesting wildlife in our small garden over the years – robins, blue tits, great tits, pigeons, house martins, and now blackbirds have all nested, as have wasps, fish, frogs, mice, and……rats! The last mentioned were not quite so welcome, although they are of course still wildlife. I solved that one by removing all food sources and ensuring that the bird feeders were well out of reach……which also stopped the local squirrel population from pinching all the food 🙂 !

Although my garden is small, I try to keep it nature friendly as I love to see wildlife on my doorstep. It is such a privilege to have blackbirds and bumblebees using my garden this year and I consider them honoured guests.

Thanks for visiting.

Until next time,

Your friend
The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.com – comments and feedback are always welcomed.

All words and pictures in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and may not be reproduced without permission.

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