Saturday, April 8, 2017

We interrupt this program.......

Coat tit,  photo by

 Yes, we interrupt this program to tell you about what just happened in our garden in Nice.  

You might have caught the post I did here about an Asian hornet in my nesting box last year.  The coal tits and blue tits for whom the box was intended stayed well away and didn't use it.  After I took it down and put it in the freezer with Madame "Frelon" inside, I cleaned out the 15 cm diameter hornet's nest and at the end of last summer, we put the nesting box back up in the bay tree again.  

Last week we started to hear the customary sounds of spring with the "merles" ( blackbirds) chortling with their varied and personal riffs and the Tits making some sounds we have come to know  as nesting sounds.    We call the sound "Beepoo, Beepoo"  because that is the sound that is a communication  between the couple while building a nest.  One bird stays in the nest arranging the materials and the other one calls out,  "I'm here with some new stuff.  Come out so I can come in" Beepoo, Beepoo.   

  Just a few days ago we heard the sound of a bird pecking on wood as a woodpecker will do.   

Monsieur and I know that the diameter of the hole of a nesting box has to be assesed by the "Beepoos" before they will judge a home as a good one.....too large, they don't trust it and too small they don't want to hurt their critical wing feathers. 

So Monsieur got up in the tree and rasped the opening of the box.  A few minutes later one of the coal tits was in it.  But the next day we heard the tapping sound again and interpreted it in our own way.  So Monsieur climbed up again and widened the hole just a fraction.  

Today it is clear that both male and female are coming and going out of the box with nesting materials and no more tapping.   I think we got it right this time. 

Also, my specialty irises are sending out green sheaths that will hold gigantic blossoms, up to 8 on a stalk. 

Last year's display of Irises,  photo by mary M Payne

 It is nice to know that although the world may look like its falling apart around us,  some things go forward as usual.

 We do so love having a garden and creatures to watch.  

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