A Charming Weekend – Part 1

I was having a bit of a lie-in this morning, when I realised I was hearing the unmistakable sound of newly fledged birds cheeping near our bedroom window. The blackbirds had fledged! I got up to see if I could see them. It was my husband Mike who spotted one first. Or rather, he spotted a tell-tale erratic rustling in some greenery in the far corner of the garden. When Mrs Blackbird landed nearby and with a beakful of worms, we knew we were on the right track. Then, I heard some cheeping on the other side of the garden, and turned to see a newly fledged blackbird in the pieris right by the bedroom window:

Newly fledged blackbird, 13 May 07

So, Mr and Mrs Blackbird have at least two fledglings …

Mrs Blackbird started making her nest in the ivy in the side wall on 28 March. Her eggs hatched around a month later – the evening of 29 April was when I first saw Mr Blackbird taking food in to the nestlings. Yesterday afternoon Mike and I were in the garden, and both Mr and Mrs Blackbird were still taking (large) worms into the nest for their chicks. And today, they’ve fledged! What excitement seeing them for the first time, with their big gaping beaks and stubby, virtually non-existent tails. I love watching them make their (often rather wobbly) acquaintance with the outside world.

We also have a pair of blue tits nesting in the nest box on the other side of the garden. I’ll keep you posted on their progress. And I’m pretty sure we have some dunnocks nesting in the same hedge as the blackbirds, a little nearer the house. But I haven’t seen much activity there recently.

The other Big Bird News is that on Friday evening, as we were eating supper, I saw 3 swifts circling high in the sky. Our first of the year. They were back yesterday too. No swallows as yet, but they should be following close by …

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