Flitting To and Fro

It’s very much spring and the nesting season in London. Our garden see’s many bird species foraging in the undergrowth, shrubs and the Rowan tree. We’ve sometimes played host to nesting birds too. Years back I had a nest box which was used by Blue Tit’s who successfully fledged 4 out of 5 nestlings. More recently we’ve had Robins nesting twice – once in the old outside toilet and once in my shed. Remember this baby photo?

The old nest box that the Blue Tit’s used gave up the ghost a long time ago. At the time there was a great deal of concern about the collapse of the House Sparrow population in the UK so I bought a Sparrow sized communal nest box and mounted that on the wall. The Sparrows have never used it though I’m glad to say they’ve been using a hole in the eaves of the house at the front regularly over the last few years and there is now quite a healthy small flock that spends a lot of the day in a neighbour’s hedge.

Up until this year the only species to use the nest box for brood purposes was a type of Bumble Bee! Other than that it’s been home to various spiders and other creepie-crawlies. But this year we had a surprise – there is a brood of Great Tit’s growing in the nest box. Here are some images of the adults delivering food to the infants…

It’s a bit of a struggle getting these images because Great Tit’s are small and fast. Additionally I’m having to shoot from my Son’s bedroom so as not to disturb the birds as they go about their business and that’s quite a distance from the nest box. So apologies for the grain, blur and limited detail in these shots. It’s much easier when you’re shooting stationary birds in a tree or you’ve got a 500mm Telephoto on an EOS 1DX πŸ˜‰


  1. I think your photos are truly wonderful, Martin. I’m sure it took a lot of patience to capture, but I also assume you’ve spent a lot of time just watching them. The photos with the birds in flight are particularly beautiful. We have a lot of birds at our feeders, but I rarely have evidence of their nesting, and I would enjoy that. I’d actually be thrilled. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Debra πŸ™‚ It took a lot of playing around with camera settings to get acceptable results – so I guess that counts as patience πŸ˜‰ When I’m not watching trains, I’m watching birds and other wildlife. It was the gaps between trains that got me into watching birds in the first place! It has been said that Britain’s railways are the country’s largest nature reserve πŸ˜‰

      Seeing where birds are nesting is all about observation – unless they’re using a nest box you’ve provided! Looking out the kitchen window over a cup of coffee will often show some interesting bird activity that may give a clue to where they are nesting. Small common species are most likely to be nesting somewhere close to your property so watch for adults carrying food. Hope you see some youngsters about the garden. Good Hunting πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Amy πŸ™‚ Yes you should clean it out after the nesting season – though there’s no guarantee that it will be used again the following season. Where birds nest is dictated by many factors including availability of natural nest sites and location of territorial boundaries.

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