There has been so much going on in my garden in the last week or two that I thought it time I wrote some of it down. Everyone is building nests, sitting on eggs or feeding fledglings. It is also a time of death. There are young birds hitting windows who haven’t yet learned about glass. There are cats and cars. There are eggs which have been carefully brooded but never hatch. I guess you could sum it up by saying there is life in my garden.
A pair of starlings spend a lot of time on my front lawn feeding in their frantic stabbing waddling way, and finding a surprising amount to eat. They build a nest each year under my neighbour’s eaves (and no, I regret to say, I haven’t told the neighbour) gathering up dry grass and twigs from my garden. After a while they begin carrying food for their youngsters, then, one day the young birds appear and for a while mum and dad are busy chasing them all round the neighbourhood with food. Through the hedge, across the road to the park, around into my back garden, and then gone. Today I saw them again carrying dry grass under the eaves, obviously beginning a new nest now the kids have left home.
The blackbirds have been busy coming and going to my front hedge. In the way birds have of trying to hide their movements, they would always fly first into a camellia beside the hedge, pause for a moment, then pop up onto their nest. Back and forth they went with nest material but now they’re quietly sitting on two eggs. Meanwhile I noticed a Dad and juvenile blackbird on the birdbath in the back garden. I must have missed that pair’s nest.
Then a few days ago a pair of mynas started putting together a nest in a tallish pencil conifer beside my drive. It looks the sort of spot any kid would love to build a hut, secretive but with a good view of everything going on around it. They’re still building but I hope they don’t end up with drainage problems down the track – I’m sure I could hear them shuffling around incorporating a plastic bag into the superstructure. Not a good move. It’ll be a while before they have chicks fledging but there’s always a ruckus once they do as the parents busily protect them from local nasties.
What has just fledged today though are two young thrushes from a nest in my neighbour’s garden. Still with bits of down poking here and there and a yellow gape they look beautiful. They’ve obviously got a lot to learn though – for the last ten minutes one of the pair has been experimenting with trying to come in through various windows around the house. The windows are shut. Hopefully it’ll work out what glass is before it is able to get up more flight speed and do itself some damage.
And the death? A young blackbird on the lawn. How did it die? No one knows but you can be sure its parents are still busy feeding its siblings or getting another nest underway. This is no time to sit around and enjoy the warmer weather. There is work to be done.