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Blue tits nest with seven chicks in ashtray outside Lymington store Dulux Decorator Centre



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AN ashtray box outside a paint store in Lymington has become the unlikely new home for a pair of blue tits and their chicks.

The brood has taken up residence at the Dulux Decorator Centre in Ricardo Way, with the parents regularly seen flying to and fro with food.

Manager Liz Hyde said: “It started off with a customer saying, ‘I think you have birds nesting in the smoking box’.

The parents are regularly seen flying to and fro with food
The parents are regularly seen flying to and fro with food

“I sent one of the staff off to investigate and they were right. So, we put up a ‘Birds Nesting’ notice on it so people would not use it.

“We’re thrilled to say there are seven baby birds.”

Liz added: “If you peek in you can just see seven tiny yellow beaks and hear the babies squawking.

“But so far, we have not seen any of the young, just heard them.

“They seem to be getting on really well – the parents are certainly very busy going to and from the nest with food.”

A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white, and green the blue tit weighs only around 11g and is 12cm long with a wingspan of 18cm.

Common in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens, they usually nest in holes in trees.

But they have been known to nest in man-made spaces too, preferring a cosy cavity as protection against predators.

They normally nurse their young for around two weeks, feeding them on insects and spiders.

Liz said staff and customers are leaving the birds alone, saying: “We wouldn’t want anything to happen them. It’s just so lovely having them here.

“It’s become a big talking point. Customers are always asking how the birds are getting on.

“We leave the birds alone, so we don’t cause any harm.

“We are just delighted they chose our store, to be honest, and are looking forward to seeing them all emerge to fly away when they are old enough.”

Birds’ nests have been making headlines this spring, as reported by the A&T, with a seagull’s stopping demolition of a building in Highcliffe and a sparrow’s halting the reopening of the C10 Station Road at Holmsley bridge in the New Forest.



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