Eastern Bluebirds Visit Lochaber

Eastern Bluebirds
In the late summer three years ago, that would be 2010, Alison and I were chatting with Martha Brown on our driveway up the hill above Lochaber Lake  when Alison pointed up the field and said, “Look, isn’t that a bluebird?”  Martha quickly confirmed that, yes, it was an Eastern Bluebird, sitting on a diagonal guy wire.  Soon we spotted its mate.  They only stayed for a couple of days but, in the hope they might return, that fall we got Harriet MacMillan to show us how to build bluebird boxes and put up six of them in the fields around the house.  To our delight, the next spring (2011) the two Eastern Bluebirds returned and took up residence in one of our boxes, happily the one nearest the house.  Day after day we watched them gathering material for their nest and taking it to the bluebird house.  Often one would sit on the fence posts around our vegetable garden while the other collected grass, etc. on the ground.  We were sure they were preparing to start a family and could hardly wait to watch.  Unfortunately that early summer was unusually cool and wet.  Perhaps that unfavourable weather didn’t produce enough bugs, for for whatever reason after about 3 weeks the bluebirds disappeared.  When we check on the box we found a well developed nest, but no sign of eggs.  What a disappointment!  We hoped they might return the following summer, but there was no sign.  As we approach another summer, we’re hoping they might return this year.  They are so beautiful and interesting!
John Lamb and Alison Lee

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