Cupcake and Muffin, our pair of young bluetits, began building their nest in our camera nestbox several weeks ago. The nest was about completed and Cupcake has been sleeping in there for the last week. She had lined her beautiful nest with fresh moss, soft wool, and downy feathers, so that it looked wonderfully cosy and comfortable.
Muffin sings to Cupcake as she settles down for the night after a hard days nest building before he flys to a nearby hole in the wall for his well earned sleep.
Early in the morning, as the sun peeps out through the dawn mist, and the birds begin their chirruping chorus, Muffin sings in the blossoming pear tree to his sweetheart. His peep peep peep is music to our ears as he sings his little heart out for Cupcake to hear upon awakening.
All was going so well until an enormous furry bumble bee found her way into the nest. She happily buzzed around all day, making herself at home and beginning to build her own nest within a nest. Cupcake and Muffin were visibly distressed. Muffin sang from the very topmost branches of the pear tree, barely gripping on to the blossom, as it gently swayed in the spring breeze. He sang bright and loud and clear to call Cupcake back to the nest to alert her to the danger within.
It was like watching a television drama unfolding before our very eyes! Cupcake was very upset, and continually visited the box, to peer in and listen for the gentle buzz of the bee. But she dared not enter . All day she fluttered and flustered, not sure what to do. Muffin supported her, singing and shouting at the box in the vain hope the bee would leave. It was to no avail.
After many hours the pair looked beaten. I felt emotionally exhausted after routeing for the pair all day, willing the bee to leave. It was then I had an idea.......
I grabbed the broom and fought my way into the leafy green foliage. Ignoring spiders and prickly thorns scratching at my skin, I leant perilously on tiptoe and banged the broom determinedly against the box hoping to scare the bee from within. I didn't want to cause harm to our intrusive friend, but wanted her to vacate the box. After quite a long time this clearly wasn't working and I was scratched to pieces. I could hear Cupcake and Muffin peeping across the garden watching the proceedings from the top of the stone wall.
I lugged the big heavy ladder (that reaches the top of the house!) across our cobbled garden (no mean feat!) and carefully propped it up against the wall. Armed with an old bent coat-hanger and my pink rubber gloves, I carefully dipped it in through the hole at the front. After several angry buzzing moments, a very cross bee finally emerged from the box! Hooray! What a relief. Unfortunately the nest was quite disturbed but at least the bee had gone!
Within minutes of my leaving the garden Cupcake was cautiously peering into the box again. She was listening for the buzz of the bee and checking all around the box, tapping with her beak to ensure it was still safe. This has continued for a few hours and both birds have entered the nest, very cautiously. Cupcake has been removing some of the material so we can only hope that she will find enough courage to return to re-building her beautiful nest. She still remains cautious and has been seen investigating our other empty nest box. Usually by this time of the evening she is tucked up warm and safe, being serenaded by Muffin. But alas, tonight, the box remains empty........