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.