Eviction - A Happy Ending?

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by foggyparrot, May 24, 2008.

  1. foggyparrot

    foggyparrot Deleted User

    As I have already mentioned In Jan Pedreigh's thread about blackbirds nesting in the engine, we had a Blue Tit who graced us with her and her offsprings presence in the intake vent of the main furnace of the Winnie.

    Had it not been for the fact that the chap that bought the Winnie was coming to pick it up this weekend, then we would have been happy to let the youngsters fledge and disapear.

    However, I took it upon myself to try and come up with a solution which might allow the chicks to have a fighting chance of survival. I hot footed it down to the local Garden Centre to buy a small nesting box. The plan was to mount it on a pole immediately outside the vent, transfer the nest and the chicks into it and hope that mum would realise that I was trying to help. I knew that the brood had hatched because she was fetching and carrying grub backwards and forwards at a massive rate of knots.

    I have been told that Blue Tits are a bit fickle and will abandon a nest (with young or not) if there is the tiniest change in circumstances, interference or intervention. I assumed, therefore, that when we took the Winnie out for a test drive on Wednesday, by the time we got back she would have been off somewhere else to lay a few more eggs and forget about the mobile nest. That was not to be, she actually flew back into the vent before I had even parked up and switched off the engine! It was on that basis that I resolved to try my best to save the family.

    This morning, cunning plan hatched (no pun intended), screw drivers, bird box, pole and camera ready, I set about the planned eviction and relocation.

    What I didn't take into account, however, was just how tiny all of the holes were, how many hatchlings were involved, and what a fight they would put up!

    Quiet and silent dismantle of the outside vent covers revealed a black hole no more than an inch and a half in diameter and a disgruntled mum tending her flock. Five minutes later, mum went shopping for grubs, giving me the opportunity to get my fingers stuck in hole designed for nothing more than a draught of air (and a blue tit) to get through. A quick re-think was called for and I dashed back to the Monaco and grabbed a couple of Sundae spoons. I managed to extract most of the bedding and two beautifully formed blue tits (tiny yellow top-knots, and blue feathered wings and the most enormous beaks you've ever seen) in record time. It took another 20 minutes to extract the last 4 babies and transfer them into their new home. A sundae spoon is not designed for picking up wriggling, squirming babies and tipping the spoon backwards so that they would slide down the handle into my other hand was the only way of getting them out.

    I was told not to expect any more than three or four youngsters at the most and intended to record my efforts with a camera as I went on. However, I couldn't believe that chick after chick kept coming out with a final tally of six. Doing all of this one handed and with massively decreasing time limits left me unable to photograph the entire operation.

    It's only about half an hour since I finished and I have been watching mum to see if she will go back and carry on feeding her kids. So far she has tentatively approached, flown around, or sat on the ground looking up at the box but, as yet, hasn't actually gone in.

    I am going back out to keep vigil for a couple of hours and will keep you informed as to progress.

    Fingers crossed.

    Mike and Jill.
     
  2. dylan

    dylan Read Only Funster

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    Awaiting with baited breath :pray:
     
  3. wills5138

    wills5138 Read Only Funster

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    Me too!

    How long we are going to have to wait?
     
  4. foggyparrot

    foggyparrot Deleted User

    Amazing!!

    It took almost an hour, but mum and dad are both 'flying' in and out one after the other trying to make up for lost time I expect.

    There was no perch at the entrance when I bought the box so I thought I ought to put something on the outside to encourage them to at least have a look before just trusting to luck and flying straight in through an unfamiliar hole.

    I just drilled a small hole under the entrance and stuck a stick in it at the assembly stage. That has really proved it's worth. They actually perch on that and pass each other food through the hole to feed the chicks.

    I am so chuffed you wouldn't believe.

    Linda, if you wouldn't mind quoting me for all the necessary bits to build a furnace, hot water supply, air con and all the other essentials, I'd better get on with drawing up the necessary modifications.

    Now there's just the question of rent.........
     
  5. dylan

    dylan Read Only Funster

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    What a wonderful ending to a lovely little story - thanks for posting it:thumb::BigGrin:
     
  6. Jan Pendreigh

    Jan Pendreigh Read Only Funster

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    That's fantastic! Our blackbird moved on after we'd destroyed two nests and hoovered the engine - we understand they build up to 4 nests and pick the best, so obviously we managed to put them off early.

    Now, how do we evict all the darling little children on their bikes or with their footballs that are making our (to date) wrinklies idyll hell on earth? Moving tomorrow and not a moment too soon, just how many half-terms are there in a year???????
    Jan
     
  7. foggyparrot

    foggyparrot Deleted User

    Just a really sad addendum to the above.

    I've obviously been keeping a close eye on our lodgers. The 'new' bird house is right in front of the vent which is now covered temporarily with a piece of cardboard (sellotaped on). I just happened to glance down the side a few minutes ago and noticed that there was a hole in the cardboard exactly where the vent is.

    Fearing that mum and dad were transferring the babies back, I moved the coach forward and shone a torch into the hole.

    Sadly, I left one of the babies in there and it is now deceased. It seems that mum or dad must have heard it's distress call and broke back in. There is no nesting material in there and it is bare metal and very cold at the moment. I can't believe that she had seven chicks and that I missed it. Gutted.

    On a happier note, all of the others seem to be doing well.

    I'll keep you posted.

    Mike and Jill.
     
  8. Lindy-C

    Lindy-C Deleted User

    Just as well you discovered it before the Winnie's new owner turned on the furnace :Eeek:

    Just read this Mike........what a feat and well done you for pulling it off! :Smile:

    Never mind the bits to build them a new furnace & RV......a large cardboard replica should do the trick - time to get your crayons out! :Laughing:
     
  9. foggyparrot

    foggyparrot Deleted User

    It's now four whole days since the re-homing and I have taken on the the very stressful responsibilities of a surrogate Grand Parent.

    I can't walk past the nest box without having a quick peek inside only to be greeted by half a dozen gapeing yellow beaks. The parents are relentless in their to-ing and fro-ing with grubs and insects. With the colder weather we've been experiencing, Jill has had to sit on me to stop me from draping quilts and blankets over the box so they don't get too cold at night!

    The Winnie went on Sunday and the fellow that bought it drove it down to his home in London before heading off to Portugal later this week. I have invited him to join us on the forum and assured him he would get a warm and enthusiastic welcome from us if he does.

    If nobody minds, I will keep you updated as to the progress of our new family.

    Mike and Jill.
     
  10. Tony Santara

    Tony Santara Funster

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    Well done Mike
    We certainly will mind if you don't keep us updated :Angry:

    I know some good solicitors that might help you get your back rent :Laughing:
     
  11. RuthRv

    RuthRv Read Only Funster

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    hi foggyparrot, just read the posts on this one, what a lovely story, you will miss them when they fly the nest, you do know i am sure that they will come back every year if you keep putting the nesting box in the same place, so you will be a grandad many times over:Rofl1:
    ruth
     
  12. foggyparrot

    foggyparrot Deleted User

    Time for closure on this one!

    Our little family has now moved out and taken up residence on the Island in the middle of the pond. We still see mum and dad who come and fetch and carry bits and pieces from the bird table to take back to the kids. Because we didn't actually see them leave, we can only assume that the whole brood made it.

    Thanks for your lovely comments Ruth but unfortunately we can't leave the nest box where it is because it's parked right in the middle of the field (the Winnie wasn't actually on a pitch) so we'll have to re-site it and hope that they find it again.

    Just as an aside though, the Winnie is now nestling in the grounds of it's new home on the coast of Portugal. The journey, as I understand it, was uneventful in the most part except for one small incident which I'm sure Tony (the new owner) won't mind me mentioning.

    As they were nearing their destination in Portugal, Tony pulled off the main road and into a small village. He drove down a hill and stopped at the bottom to check his map. After a few moments, he slipped into gear and tried to pull away but the coach wouldn't move. He tried reverse and still nothing happened. He got out of the coach and walked around the back only to find that the towball had buried itself in the road at the base of the hill. Our Linda had provided me with a crank up and down adjustable towball which I left on, but Tony had no tools to wind it up.

    The villagers were totally amazed and he soon had the entire community camped out around the vehicle watching and waiting for something to happen. When the local police arrived, someone took the initiative and scurried off to find the 'local' mechanic who, needless to say, saved the day.

    He left the village to the cheers of the local populace and it seems that the only thing missing was bunting and flags!

    If you do read this Tony, good luck with your venture!

    Mike and Jill.
     
  13. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Altogether a great story, love it. Thanks
     
  14. Lindy-C

    Lindy-C Deleted User

    A happy ending indeed Foggy - Thanks for sharing :BigGrin:
    Did you ever manage to get any pics?

    Oh, and fancy leaving the adjustable hitch on the Winnie.........you could have got a few squid for that on Fleabay :Rofl1:

    Tony's tale proves something though..........it must be a pretty robust bit of kit to stop a Winnie in its tracks! :Laughing:
     

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