For Tree Following this year I'm following one of the several wonderful old silver birch trees on North Merchiston Cemetery in Edinburgh. Crafty Green Boyfriend and I started walking round this cemetery (and the nearby Dalry Cemetery) every day for our #DailyExercise during the first UK lockdown last year. And we're still doing the same walk almost every day as lockdown continues!
Although many birch trees seem to be already in bud, this particular tree seems to be slow, perhaps because it doesn't get much sun or perhaps because it's old? I don't know! There are a few reasonable sized buds on the tree, here are a couple of them
and the catkins are developing nicely
But the most exciting news isn't about the tree itself but about some potential residents! One of the reasons I chose this tree to follow is because it is one of the trees on which we fitted nestboxes earlier in the year (you can read about the nestboxes in this blogpost here.) Last week, Crafty Green Boyfriend and I noticed a blue tit checking out the next box and today we saw a blue tit actually in the nest box, looking out at us! We didn't want to take a photo up close, as we didn't want to scare the nesting pair, so we walked away intending to take a photo from further away. Unfortunately for us, the blue tit had flown before we got a photo, but hopefully we'll get a photo soon! It's certainly lovely to know that the birds in the cemetery appreciate the next boxes!
Edited to add: today we watched two blue tits flying in and out of the next box and chasing off two or three long tailed tits, who wouldn't want to nest in the box, so the quarrel was probably over territory.