I turned to Richard, who is a very keen bird enthusiast and conservationist. He has supplied me with boxes in the past. You can see what great work he does by going to his website, Project Birdbox
He came round today with 2 very sturdy looking new boxes and as well as erecting them for me he emptied last years boxes and moved a couple too.
The boxes are suitable for bluetits and great tits. The hole is too small for other birds to get through. The nests are mainly made of moss but they find lots of other soft materials to line them. This has sheep's wool in white, pink and blue wool which may have come from sheep at the nearby farm (coloured by the farmer for identification.) At the bottom the bright green/yellow is probably from a tennis ball according Richard. In the past I have found the filter tips off cigarettes in them and horse hair. This also had bits of tissue in it.
This is my robin box. They like an open front box that is well hidden in the shrubs. This was really well hidden by the honeysuckle last year but that has been cut back. I am sure it will soon grow and cover it again. Robin's main nesting material seem to be moss as well. After having this box for 4 or 5 years last year was the first time it was used. I saw it when it had 3 eggs in. Don't know if the robin laid any more after that. Hope they come back and use it again.
This box below is the one I can watch easily from my kitchen, it had a nest in from last year so is has now been emptied for this years prospective residents.
This one was way to far up the tree so Richard has moved it down where is is easier to see. The nest in the photo was from this one.
This box is in my front garden and was on the other side of the tree. On this side I will be able to watch it from my armchair in the sitting room.
One of the new boxes from Richard. It is bigger then the others and very sturdy. Above it you can the one that was emptied by the squirrels last year. The side is missing off it.
The second new box fitted today. I can see both of these from the house but might need to use binoculars to spot any birds going in and out as they are both at the bottom of the garden.
Finally a look at the signs of spring approaching. Crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils. Also winter flowering jasmine and heather which will provide food for any early bees.