17 Jul 2015

Blackbirds. Sneaky little blighters.......

We've had one Blackbirds nest in the garden this year wit ha single chick fledged and one addled egg. I saw the female carrying nesting material into a hedge but there was no nest and they went quiet. Sitting in the garden recently I saw the male sat on our garden roof, head cocked to one side with a beak full of worms eyeing me warily. He was watching me watching him and it was only when I looked away but surreptitiously watched him out of the corner of my eye that he eventually flew into the top of another one of our tall hedges! I watched him and the female on and off for the next 24 hrs but couldn't see the nest from below. Checking with some tall step ladders I found a perfectly concealed nest in the pyrocantha with four well grown young ready for ringing.

For the next week or so until they fledged I was like a paranoid parent. Every morning around 06.00 I'd hear Magpies around the house & I'd get up and patrol the garden to scare them off. When the young got larger you could hear them calling as the parents arrived at the nest so I draped some garden net over the top of the hedge to stop predators getting in from above.

The female came down every evening for a dip in the bird bath and then sat in a birch tree preening before settling down to brood for the night.

The local cat got a good soaking with the hose pipe as he sat with his back towards me leering at the nest from our garage roof - it hasn't been back since. Eventually the young Blackbirds fledged - I could hear their calls from the depths of the hedges surrounding the garden.

I haven't seen them since but hopefully a couple will survive the attentions of the local cats. The adults appear to be going back into stealth mode and I suspect they might be trying for another brood.

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