Wednesday 7 April 2021

Tree Following - April Update

 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.


Carruthers said...

I've got a walk here that I tend to repeat. I go out and think, shall I head off to XYZ for a change? Then I think, no... Might next time... And head off up the old route. I think it's a comfort thing.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Carruthers, yes there's definitely an element of comfort to it but there's also something really nice about following how a place changes on an almost daily basis through the seasons.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes a repeated walk gives you a whole year's picture if you do it regularly and things occur which you would not have envisaged. Blue tits are quite aggressive aren't they? Not at all the pretty, gentle little things one imagines.

Jeff said...

I like the idea of adopting a tree to follow... I should pick one out for my walks.

Andrew said...

Great news about the Blue tits! I know people who have waited years for nest boxes to be used, so you've obviously chosen a good spot.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Weaver - I was very surprised recently to see a blue tit aggressively threaten a robin! They certainly are feisty little birds!

Jeff - it's a lovely idea, I hope you find an interesting tree to follow!

Andrew - we were astonished to see the blue tits seemingly moving in so quickly. We'll be watching closely to see if they raise young there!

Flighty said...

I like the idea of following a tree with an occupied bird box, and blue tits are such lovely little birds. xx

Squirrelbasket said...

Thanks for sharing again - your birches in the colder north seem quite a way behind ours in the south, where the catkins are already mature and shedding their pollen.
I do hope the blue tits stay. Did you know one nickname for them is "blue nun" because the blue and white on top of their heads looks a bit like a wimple? Although I always think their little beady eyes are too close together to be innocent.
All the best till next time :)