Sherlock was sitting on the ground in the garden, staring up at the house.
When D. looked up, he could see this hole in the wall, under the bathroom window, that we hadn't really noticed before. It must have been the exit for an overflow pipe, before the bathroom was re-fitted at some point and the pipe moved to another spot.
...and this little head popped out!!
A pair of Blue Tits are using the hole to make a nest!
They have been flying in and out through much of the day, with their beaks full of moss and other soft stuff. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any really good pictures, as they disappeared when I sat too close with my camera. They only came back when we retreated to the bench under the tree. I managed the last shot from a bit closer, but not near enough to get a really clear shot.
We had a bit of a decision to make about this. We had put up a wonderful "Blue Tit Des-Res" on the side of the tree, which we'd seen the birds inspecting closely. However they didn't start nesting there and we assumed they'd found somewhere else - not realising where!
The problem is that it takes up to six weeks for blue tits to build a nest, lay eggs and fledge their chicks. In four weeks' time, we have an appointment for a company to come and fill the house wall cavities with insulation! The poor things would be overcome and suffocated by an ocean of fluff!
The decision we had to make was whether to wait for them to go off to get more stuff, then block up the hole, so forcing them to find another nest site; or else we let them nest, rearrange the appointment for July instead and block up the hole once the chicks have fledged.
We have decided to leave the birds alone. It shouldn't be hard to move the appointment, since I only sorted it out yesterday. I think that they will look for another place to nest, if they have a second brood, so we should be fine to block up the hole in the wall at the end of June...
Meanwhile, I may be able to get another picture at some point and will be watching with fascination, to see what happens in the nest. Wish I could get hold of a little camera to poke into the hole and watch!
I will also be watching a Certain Furry Person, to make sure he doesn't get the chance to snack on fledging blue tits!