There's a long way to go yet, but it looks good so far. Mrs HTR left the nest for about 10 minutes, just before 8pm. HTR took two lots of wax worms to her in the holly tree and then I lost sight of her until she was back on the nest and he continued his dusk singing.
I have been on annual leave this week and since the weather has been so good, I have spent most of the time on the sunlounger. This has allowed me to see and hear the HTR's behaviour. She obviously spends nearly all of her time on the nest and HTR takes food to her on occasion. He spends his time in the holly tree, which affords him a clear view of the nest area, but without being visible himself. When he is about to take food to Mrs HTR, he flies across to the apple tree or the low wall between the gardens and calls to her before flying across with her snack. There are other occasions when he calls to her from the holly tree and then she leaves the nest to join him. They spend up to ten minutes together and then, after more Courtship Feeding, she returns to the nest. If he's not quick enough with the food, she will fly across and take whatever wax worms or mealies I throw to her. She won't hand feed but will come very close. Whenever I have watched my Robins Courtship Feeding, the male flies to the female (nearly all the time) and follows her squeaks as she calls for food. I have noticed that Mrs HTR is now either silent or keeping the volume to a minimum. Is this because she has eggs and does not want to draw attention to herself? Possibly. Another new 'behaviour', new to me at least, happened earlier today. I have only witnessed it the once, so until I see it a few more times, I cannot classify it as behaviour. I heard HTR singing quietly in the holly tree. This was quiet singing rather than twarbling and included Goldfinch calls. I went to his location and waited to see what would happen. I had wax worms with me. Mrs HTR left the nest and flew to the apple tree, which is about 35 feet away and on the same side of the garden as the holly tree, which is about another 20 feet away. As soon as Mrs HTR landed in the apple tree, HTR stopped singing and began to make the noises I would usually associate with territorial disputes. Mrs HTR began to make the same noises and flew across to the holly tree, where they both began to posture and sway from side to side. This was very brief and then they both disappeared into the holly tree and she began preening her feathers. They eventually both returned to the front of the tree and perched a few inches apart. I offered some wax worms and she flew down to grab one before flying back to the nest, pausing in two other trees on her way. Fascinating behaviour.
A Robin singing quietly is a new one on me :)
It wasn't twarbling as I call it, which is a soft twittering of endless noises. This was a quiet song. I can only speculate as to the purpose. Did it inform her that it was safe for her to leave the nest, rather than him coming to her? Hopefully I'll see and hear it again over the weekend. I seem to recall hearing the Sparrowhawk Island male Robin calling before he visited the nest, but obviously we did not hear and see what happened away from the nest as the webcam was on the nest itself. The more I see of Robins, the more questions I have.
Mrs HTR was off the eggs for about ten minutes at one point yesterday. She spent most of it basking in the sunshine. She had her beak open the whole time and fluffed up her feathers and spread her wings as she sat there. She came down for a drink but was interrupted by another Robin. It wasn't HTR because he was in the holly tree and started ditting while Mrs HTR and the intruder were posturing at one another. I took 262 photos in 9 minutes. I have created a short slideshow that features a small selection. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did watching Mrs HTR.
Great account of the goings on in your garden MC, you chose the right week for your leave and have made the most of it with all those photos! Lovely slideshow with Mrs HTR showing off her posturing and doing a great job of it.
That's a terrific slide show Paul with wonderful photos, thank for going to so much effort, it was lovely viewing.
Thank you both. She is a very easy subject to photograph and now comes closer to me for food than previously. Watching them interact with one another is very interesting and entertaining in equal measure.
monkeycheesehope you enjoy watching it as much as I did watching Mrs HTR.
I most certainly did!
Just to keep a balance and to stop Mrs HTR from getting all the attention, here is a slideshow of HTR taking a bath earlier today.
another wonderful photo slide show; the birds do love water bathing :)
Wonderful MC, they thoroughly enjoy the water don't they, always brings a smile to my face when I watch them.
Mrs HTR is on the nest almost every minute of the day. HTR takes food to her every now and then. Occasionally she leaves the nest with him and after a brief preening session and sometimes a bath, she returns. I took a few pics of HTR this morning while he was waiting for me to get him some wax worms.
If my calculations are correct (having guessed when Mrs HTR laid that 6th egg), then the eggs should hatch this weekend. Increased activity from the pair of them should be a giveaway. The nestlings in the multi storey car park have fledged. I heard at least four of them yesterday. The adults were glad of the wax worms that I left for them.
Looks lovely with the flowers (flowering currant ?) behind HTR, robins busy here too but not the weather you have - it's absolutely chucking it down right now ..........don't mind as I fed the grass yesterday (as well as the robins ! ) so perfect timing.
This weekend? hope the weather stays warm for you, it's cold up here with rain and wind. Lovely photos MC of HTR, exciting time for you. I fed Titch today and for the first time he carried it away, so.......