Thursday, April 2, 2009


Last year it was a pair of mistle thrush. This year it's a pair of coal tits. There are no Telescope Points on offer today, but I wonder if you can work out what it might be?

If you don't know what I'm going on about, I'll put you out of your misery. You may recall that a pair of mistle thrush decided to set up home in our sycamore tree last year, with disastrous consequences. They got as far as laying four eggs, and one even hatched. Within days, however, the chick had gone, and I think some of the eggs had been taken too. The birds eventually abandoned the nest leaving two eggs behind. It was all very sad.

Worryingly, a mistle thrush has been present this past week or so, delivering its fluty song both morning and night from trees near the house. If a pair are going to breed in the area again, I hope they pick a better spot for their nest.

However, on Wednesday night I heard a coal tit in the trees behind our garden. I thought this was great, because although we see these birds quite a bit during the winter, they are less frequent as the year wears on. My joy quickly turned to concern, when on Thursday morning I spotted a pair gathering nesting material from the sycamore tree in the front garden, before making a series of short dashes to the roof near the bedroom window.

Alarm bells started ringing. I said to Mrs Reg that I hoped they weren't building a nest in the gutter. For starters, any heavy rain will probably spell curtains for them. Secondly, we have some roofers coming to do some work in the immediate future - work that involves replacing the gutters. Having carefully assessed the situation this morning, it turns out that my worst fears have come true.

I have a bit of a dilemma - should I destroy however much of their nest they have built so far, and hope that they move on to a more suitable and safe location? The alternative is to leave them be, but then they are at risk of being disturbed much further down the line, possibly when they have young, and little time to start all over again.

Either option seems cruel, but the first one appears to be better for the birds in the long run, even if they might not see it that way.

I really would appreciate some help on this one. I know there are a fair few readers of this blog, and I would be very grateful if someone with a bit of experience or knowledge in this area could advise me of the best course of action.

If I am going to take action, I need to take it fast, so if anyone can help, please add a comment at the foot of this entry as soon as possible.

Thanking anyone in advance for any advice they can give.


midlands birder said...

i too think the second option is best as they have time to start again.if you do try this try putting the nest in a sutible location for them.this could entice them to build there nest there. but do it early just in case they do regect it.this is a tried and proven method with a pair of blue tits in our garden last year.
hope this helps.

midlands birder said...

no i mean the first option like you but try the nest moving trick it might work