We had our first fledglings in the garden yesterday – 4 baby house sparrows chasing the adults around the bird feeder pole shouting Feed Me! We have 2 of the nest boxes full of chicks at the moment, you can hear them chirping as soon as the adults land.

house sparrow

About 2 weekends ago, a starling kept landing on the roof of one of the sparrow nestboxes, as though it was interested in the nest. We kept an eye on it & realised it wasn’t the same starling that nests in the breeze block wall in the farmyard (you can see that nest in this post from last year). This starling was actually checking out potential nest sites with its mate… so we quickly made a new nest box big enough for starlings and put it on the boiler house wall, away from the sparrows.

However, the starling obviously found somewhere classier than our old recycled container as it never came back! Needless to say it didn’t stay empty for long – literally a couple of hours later another pair of house sparrows started dragging in lots of nesting material to make it cosy!

male house sparrow
Male house sparrow
female house sparrow
Female house sparrow

I would have thought it was too big & spacious for the sparrows, and the entrance hole is bigger than the other nest boxes, but they obviously like it! And we now have chicks in there too – they didn’t waste any time πŸ™‚

house sparrow with grubs
Mmmm nice tasty caterpillars!

Unfortunately we did find 2 broken eggs in one of our plant containers – these are house sparrow eggs but we’re not sure which nest box they came from (if any) – I suppose they could also have been dropped by another bird?

house sparrow eggs

We’ve also welcomed back the Swallows, lots of them nesting in the old farm building covered in ivy, as well as a pair nesting in the outbuilding at the bottom of our garden, as they do every year we’ve been here πŸ™‚

swallow collecting dried grass
Swallow collecting nesting material

It always makes me feel so summery when I hear them overhead & see them flying low over the field. I don’t think we have as many as previous years though and we still haven’t seen any housemartins yet… hopefully they will return soon and we’ll have the usual pairs nesting on our house πŸ™‚