Broody birds make their own special delivery at Brampton letter box

Deliveries of a unusual variety have been made in a north Norfolk post box - after a pair of broody birds built their nest inside its bright red chamber.

The feathered parents, believed to be great tits, have set up home inside the collection box opposite St Peter's Church in Brampton and can now be seen darting in and out of the slot with food in mouth to feed their clutch of fledglings.

The couple worked quickly over a weekend to build their nest, which was discovered by postman Mark Abbs earlier this month.

He said: 'I emptied the box on a Saturday as normal about 11.30am and the next time I went to it on Monday morning at about 9.30am it was full of twigs. It was absolutely chocker block and full right up to the top of the letter box itself so they'd been really busy over the weekend.

'I think there was one letter buried at the bottom, which I tugged out.'

Mr Abbs rang the Royal Mail and asked that the box be withdrawn from the route and then put a sign up asking people not to use it and instead drop their mail off at another box within the village.

But he had to make an emergency collection a few days later after a resident rang him to say they had missed the sign and accidentally dropped some letters inside.

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He added: 'There was four letters in there, two had been eaten a little bit. I pulled them out and there was five or six beaks poking out the top, the letters had fallen on the chicks' heads.

'I just got them out as quickly as I could before the mother saw it. I did hang around to make sure she went back in and she did.'

Mr Abbs said he would check the box next week to see if the chicks had flown the nest so it could be brought back into use.

But the Brampton letter box is not the only unusual location for birds nests across Norfolk.

Pupils at Martham Primary School near Great Yarmouth have welcomed two feathered families to the grounds of their school this spring, after a female blackbird built her nest on a pair of mops resting outside the canteen and a mother blue tit set up residence in the school's nesting box.

And in the past breeding birds and their babies have been found in a traffic cone in the grounds of Holt Hall; an ashtray at a pub in Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich and in the letter box at a timber yard in Tilney St Lawrence near King's Lynn.

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