During the early Spring, the house sparrows took up residence in one of their terrace holes, took over what was the great tit's favourite box, both swift boxes and all remaining natural house martin nests. They also took over an artificial one. I bought a replacement great tit box just intime, and a family have fledged from there. I can't do anything about swifts or martins though. Sparrows have successfully fledged at least four broods from this house.
The martins, surprisingly, have come in big numbers this Spring. One pair instantly took to the end artificial nest. Others have been trying other artifical ones, but have been bullied by sparrows. Three pairs decided to get building. One nest has now been completed and two others are about two thirds complete.
This morning, three male sparrows were lined up on the roof. The martins were trying to get to their nests. Almost in unison, the sparrows each picked one of the nests and went it. They become entrenched objects, and the martins have been, so far, unable to continue nest building, or in the one case, start egg laying.
This has, to some degree or other, been going on for at least four years. There is a pattern. Clearly not 'one off'.
As I have done all the easy options, like not feeding sparrows in Winter and trying to restrict nesting sites by blocking swift boxes in Winter. My only other option now is to block the entire collection of nest boxes next Winter and leave them blocked ufn.
Good news Robbo, didn't think you would get as many successful nests earlier on this year. Well done with persevering and evidently helping the HM's nesting year.
Enjoyed reading about seeing so many HM flying in the sunshine this morning, hope that bodes well for next year. No thunder or rain here today, I believe it chucked it down overnight but I wasn't aware of it!! Had a nice walk with dogs on beach this afternoon, little muddy underfoot:-)
Sounds like a good success.
It's currently monsoonal here at the moment but promise of better day tomorrow - yikes, more lightning and thunder ! not sure even mallards like this weather lol Enjoy the sunshine and think of us !
Sunny last hour or so too! Been a bit lucky with weather today I think....the payoff was being kept awake by howling wind and downpour much of the night.
Glad to hear Nest 1 fledged ok and overall much better news than last year's attempts. What sunshine ? lol it's been heavily overcast and bucketing down most of the day here in Cheshire and just had storm with thunder/lightening so all the birds apart from corvids are hunkered down out of sight !
Final update. Nest 1's second brood successfully fledged a few weeks ago, so six nests in total. As in all previous years, there were no third attempts, and only one nest had two goes. Not sure where the science is from that states two broods are typical and sometimes three. After appearing to have left the area, I was pleasantly surprised to see a flock of over 100 house martins this morning in the sunshine. About 30 were flying around the house.
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