Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 15:28 UK

Great tit finds home in ashtray

Great tit. Pic by Andrew Ford RSPB Scotland
The bird chose the cigarette bin despite an array of ready-made nests

Smokers visiting a nature reserve in Kinross have been told to make alternative arrangements after a great tit built a nest in a cigarette bin.

Despite a range of ready-made nest boxes around Vane Farm at Loch Leven the bird has opted for the bin outside the visitors' centre door.

Luckily the nest was spotted by a visitor who saw the bird emerge from the box before it was used by a smoker.

The RSPB said there were currently about four baby great tits in the nest.

Raymond Welsh, the visitor centre and coffee shop manager, said the birds were proving to be a huge attraction.

He said: "A couple on holiday from England told me that a tit was nesting in the cigarette box.

"At first I thought they were mistaken and that the birds were just looking for food.

"Then I looked in the box and there she was sitting quietly on her nest.

"It's just great that nature is everywhere."

Although Vane Farm has several CCTV cameras on nests around the site beaming images straight into the coffee shop, staff are unable to view the "Butt Bin" family as the box is sealed up and made of metal.




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