Bird watching…

My son’s garden is surrounded by trees and they are full of birds of every variety. It is a joy to watch them and listen to their constant song every day, but, at this time of year, we are always on tenterhooks, waiting to see what will happen. With nests in every tree and a nest in the bird box under the eaves, we can watch the first tentative sorties of the fledglings and see them grow and mature from scruffy juveniles to their full beauty… if they survive.

Last year, Boots, the cat that had moved in with my son, seemed set on personally decimating the avian population, and almost every morning brought the tragedy of small and mangled corpses on the carpet. Boots, however, seems to have chosen to move on to pastures new and calls in only to raid the food bowl occasionally. Meanwhile, a tom-cat known locally as Frank, Tim, Nigel and probably a host of other names, has moved in and taken up reidence on my son’s lap.  Frank, however, sees no reason to waste energy hunting.

Even so, we have watched the nests nervously. We’ve chased the crows away from the magpies, the magpies and cats away from the nestbox and live in hopes for all of them. Every day, I check the nestbox from a distance, hiding behind the trellis to make sure that the parent birds are still tending the nest. A few days ago, I thought all was lost when I came down to find the nestbox knocked out of place and sitting at an angle. Surely the birds would have abandoned it, especially as the same thing had happened last year, leaving the lifeless nestlings strewn across the ground. Keeping my presence minimal, I straighened the box and withdrew. I saw no activity for a couple of days and concluded the worst; the little bluetits had gone. And then, photographing the roses, I caught the blur of motion. The parent birds were in and out all mornng, evidently busy with a breakfast that merged into lunch.

You can only do so much to help and the rest is in Nature’s hands… but this time, she was kind. This morning there was a family of great-tits exploring the bird feeder. And any day now, the little balls of feathered fluff will leave the nestbox and join them. I just hope I am there with the camera when they do.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in baby birds, Birds, bluetits, nature, Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Bird watching…

  1. Funny little thing…

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  2. Suzanne says:

    What pretty little birds. I admire your photos. Birds are always too quick for my camera.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jenanita01 says:

    I do hope you get lucky Sue, as the blue tits are very secretive around here, and we hardly ever see them, so to see the whole family will be special indeed!

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  4. When Trixie brought in one of the blue tit kids, I belled her. Since then she hasn’t caught any more birds, but the massacre of the vole population continues.

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      Boots managed to lose every collar we tried to put on her before she moved out.

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      • We never managed to get one to stay on Trixie before either. She had a knack of finding a piece of branch to lever it off and we’d find chewed up pieces of it all over the garden for days afterwards. It’s strange because this one is so loose you’d think it would be easy to prise off. Maybe the branches round here are just too big.

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  5. I hope you have your camera out when they emerge too!

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  6. noelleg44 says:

    Birds bring so much joy! I love to just sit and listen to their songs, so many! We had some birds nest under the cover of our boat in our driveway this year – had to stay away until the young ones fledged. One of them ended up in our garage with its flutterings – managed to get it out and watched it fly away into a tree!

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      They are joyous little creatures. I have had a fledgling wagtail making demands of its parent the last three evenings, sitting on my fence. Oddly enough, Ani never barks at baby birds. Just sings when they are in trouble.

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  7. Aw. I love the fuzzy little bird in the last photo. Adorable. I too love to watch nestlings and other baby animals in the spring. I’m glad nature was kind to your hatchlings. 🙂

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  8. I really enjoy reading birdwatchers’ stories like these. The photos themselves are beautiful. Thank you.

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  9. willowdot21 says:

    We have the same in our garden..how precarious is life.💜💜

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  10. What lovely pictures!… I love bird watching, too, it opens my heart and soothes my mind…

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  11. dgkaye says:

    Beautiful Sue. I hope you have your camera ready too! 🙂 xx

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  12. Eliza Waters says:

    Such sweet little birds – I hope they are successful!

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  14. I have heard that pet cats kill millions of birds a year. We are supposed to try to put bells on them, though I’ve never succeeded in keeping a belled collar on any cat. But then again, I don’t let my cats outside.

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      Nick’s cats are all strays that have wandered into his life…and wander out again. I put a bell on …and the collar is immediately lost. We got through several collars with Boots before we gave up and she moved out again.

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  15. Jennie says:

    What a joy! And you had the camera to capture it.

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  16. Adele Marie says:

    Reblogged this on firefly465 and commented:
    Sue’s wonderful post about fledgeling birds.

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  17. Adele Marie says:

    We had a riot of starling babies today. They are wild ones. The bird bath had three sparrows and two baby starlings in it. One starling decided it was his own personal bird bath and preceded to splash and flutter his wings. when he’d finished I had to refill the water. lol xxx

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  19. So beautiful to see, that people do love birds. They are wonderful. and these little fluffy ones? Love them. We don’t have them here. but a flock of Cockatoos just flew over our house. And see my Talon books. Birds are amazing.

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  20. I hope that all is going well with the nesting box, Sue. A terrific idea.

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  21. macjam47 says:

    A lovely post, Sue! I love watching the birds and listening to the songbirds, but we haven’t had the numbers so far this year. I think all the home construction around us has sent them off to find homes in quieter locations. 💖

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  22. frejatravels says:

    Beautiful photos

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  23. Terri M says:

    Beautiful bird !

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