The children(ok and me) have spent all morning watching a mighty battle between a red-tailed bumble bee(Bombus lapidarius) and a pair of blut tits vying for our nestbox. The blue tits had been checking it out for about a week, hanging outside and looking around and occasionally nipping in for a few seconds before heading off out again.
Today though they seemed to be keen to move in and start building up a cosy home, frequent visits and lots of pecking at the entrance hole-putting their mark on it I guess. Then the bee appeared. Its been around for a day or so, seemingly circling the house, and at times getting confused and coming into the conservatory for a quick look. Wh and I discussed where she might be looking to start up her colony but never thought she might fight the blue tits for her new home.
So the bee heads in to the box, the tits reappear and whilst working on their front door notice the queen and retreat to the beech hedge twittering wildly, the queen leaves and the tits bombard her chasing her madly until she disappears. This has been going on all day-with no winner as yet-who will be left with the new apartment ready to raise their family....?
As if that wasn't enough excitement the frogspawn is developing well, the black dots are now more like dashes and you can start to see the tadpole shape appearing. Fingers crossed that they continue to grow well as Wh has been talking all about 'the cycle', and it would be fantastic for him to experience that up close and personal.
Nature at its best, right outside our window.