I had pretty much given up hope of having a bird’s nest in one of my boxes this year. Certainly the Great Tit/Blue Tit box, for the first year ever, had no takers and I have also drawn a blank again this year with my Swift nest box, although there are plenty of swifts around.
As for the open fronted ‘Robin Nest box’, I tried a new location this year, all wired up with a camera but had seen no signs of interest. I also understood that it is a little more difficult to get Robins to use a prepared box, they are quite happy nesting in natural environments, so my hopes were not high.
But, but, but. Never give up hope. I had my cameras off all day yesterday and when I turned them back on in the evening a nest had started in my ‘Robin Nest Box’. I was very happy indeed.
It’s definitely a Robin building the nest and it was up early and active this morning. It restarted construction at 06:30 and continued throughout the day, although there were a few gaps where I wandered and hesitated if it was going to come back.
This morning I also turned the LED lights in the box back on to provide better quality, colour images. I hesitated before doing it as the birds are very sensitive and may abandon the nest if disturbed, especially at this early stage. However the activity continued and the Robin didn’t appear to be affected.
I now already have hours of footage such as this of the Robin building the nest.
The box is located behind a Pine bush and I think a lot of the material coming in, especially at the bottom of the nest are fallen pine needles, so quite coarse. I can however also see some softer moss appearing at the top.
The rather remarkable point is the speed with which the nest has been built. This is day 2 and already it looks complete.
My only previous experience of watching the daily progress of a nest construction was with great tits, and for them it took a week to 10 days to build.
I guess this may be because Robins nest multiple times throughout the Summer and therefore build multiple nests. A great tit pair will probably only nest once, maybe at the maximum twice, but generally speaking they can spend more time over their one precious nest. The Robin, and the nest building is the responsibility of the female, is working to a different time scale.
As said above I do need to be careful, especially over the next days, but it’s very exciting. I’ve never had a Robin in one of the camera nest boxes before, only ever Tits, so it will be fantastic to watch it closely.
I will sending out regular, but not I think daily, blog post updates on the nest. I will also be keeping a daily log of the nest progress updated on the website which you can find here.
And I will be live streaming the nest this year, as 24/7 as I can, so don’t hesitate to connect and follow the progress. You can connect to the stream either via the page on the website or directly on the youtube channel, and do also feel free, and it is free, to subscribe to the youtube channel.
I go to bed a happy man and with all my fingers crossed for a successful nest.