Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Beware

 At the top of my garden is a wall - half of it is a typical Yorkshire Dry stone wall. The other half is a neat stone wall with a parapet on the top and above that a hedge.   And in the hedge, as there is most years, is a blackbird's nest.   When Mrs Blackbird was sitting on their eggs Mr Blackbird would spend a large part of each day serenading her from the rooftops.  Now the chicks are hatched and hiding in amongst the plants in my garden waiting to be fed by Mum and Dad, life is a bit more hazardous for them.  When I go out to do my five laps of the patio Mr and Mrs B give their warning signal to tell the chicks to stay hidden.   As soon as I come in the feeding begins again in earnest.   Except that this morning it didn't - danger signals continued and both Mum and Dad fluttered up and down, tails in the air.   Why?   I couldn't work it out until suddenly, what I had taken to be a root in the hedge moved.   It wasn't the hedge at all.   It was a tabby Tom Cat, curled up at the base of the hedge.  They knew he was there and by golly he knew they were around and he was going nowhere(he fancied a meal of nice fat blackbird chick rather than tinned cat food wherever he lived).

That was yesterday - today is a wet morning and so far no sign of him so Mum and Dad are presumably making up for lost time and stuffing grubs, flies, worms and anything else that appears on the menu down little cheeping throats as fast as possible.   Strike while the iron's hot as they say.

Now my gardeners have arrived to mow the lawns and dead head the daffodils and tulips - oh dear poor old blackbirds - what a tough time they are having.

19 comments:

JayCee said...

We have a pair of blackbirds in our garden too although we haven't yet been able to work out where they are nesting. P is very popular with them at the moment as he is doing a lot of digging and consequently unearthing lots of earthworms.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

If they keep nesting there year after year it must be a good place to make a home, despite the presence of hungry cats, gardeners and persistent patio-lappers!

Barbara Anne said...

Dearie me, nature is sometimes cruel. Years ago, we had a bluebird nest in our maple tree and under that tree was our picnic table surrounded by 4 chairs. We were delighted to watch mama and papa bluebird teaching the babies to fly from the chair backs to the table. Each baby rocked back and forth as if gathering up his/her bravery before fluttering about 10" to the table top. It was too cute! They did learn and eventually all flew away.

Oh, and we found the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show on You Tube!

Hugs!

Derek Faulkner said...

That cat wouldn't of been left there in my garden, fortunately I have a terrier that loves a chase with a cat - Blackbirds take priority in my garden, not feline pests!

thelma said...

They are quite fierce blackbirds and would probably defend their babes against the cat. I get more worried about the crow family who like a nice tasty morsel of baby bird.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Beware, yes, watching nature documentaries especially. There are too many gory scenes aka food chain demonstrations. After a few minutes of magnificent or cute animals and birds, seeing one being killed and chewed on is not entertaining. I often click mute or turn the channel during those parts.

Ellen D. said...

I had a pair of robins make a nest in my lilac bush and I could carefully peak through my dining room window to see the mother sitting on the nest. I was so excited to watch for the babies but it wasn't meant to be. We found the 3 eggs broken in the grass so something got to them. So disappointing.

Anne Brew said...

A pair of Great Tits have abandoned their nest full of chicks in our garden. On quick inspection the chicks are indeed dead.
Its possible they couldn't find a ready supply of caterpillars.

Anonymous said...

Our house is situated on the edge of a park which features a pond with an assortment of ducks. It's always lovely to see ducklings, each year, but sadly their numbers decrease from the usual five or six, down to two or three. It seems sneaky foxes or cats may be the culprits under the cover of darkness.-Pam.

Tom Stephenson said...

What with cats and magpies, it's a hard life.

Melinda from Ontario said...

A pair of cardinals have nested in our backyard for three years now. This year they chose the cedar tree in front of our living room window. My husband and I have had so much fun watching the parents feed them. Every now and then one of the parents would perch on the window ledge and give us a warning glare. Very recently the two babies moved from the cedar tree and are most likely hiding in the shrubbery in my garden. I'm hoping I'll see them back again soon once they're actually flying.

Susan said...

I hope your baby birds survive and one day you see them take their first flight.

Bonnie said...

I'm so glad the baby blackbirds are still okay. It is wonderful to watch a young bird family like that!

gz said...

The blackbird is a good alarm call!
Hope they all survive ok

Frances said...

Many years ago one of my cats was seen being chased up the garden by a low flying blackbird just behind him!!

Librarian said...

Blackbirds make a very distinctive sound for Cat Alert, I know it immediately but do not hear it around here very often anymore, since there are no cats living at any of the surrounding houses.
The last cat I had until she died of old age was too clumsy to ever catch a bird, but one of ours that we had when I was a girl was a super hunter and would bring us "presents" almost daily. They were mostly mice but a few times she brought a bird in. It was never nice to see her killing a smaller animal, but cats just act according to their nature, as do dogs and birds and all other animals.
We humans are the only species who have perfected the killing of other animals, and not because we need them desperately for food - we do it out of convenience and sometimes even for "fun" and out of cruelty. Think of how cheap supermarket meat is produced... That is MUCH worse than what any cat can do.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Librarian - and sadly we have perfected the 'art' of killing humans,which is even worse.
I once saw cardinals in Canada - most exciting.

The reason ducks have so many ducklings Anon is that they lose so many babies to predators. On the farm we had a beck running through the fields. Often ducks nested in reeds at the side and started out with twelve but were lucky to raise 6 to maturity.

Thanks everyone.

Jules said...

Sadly, we haven't had any birds nesting in the garden this year, but we have been inundated with those searching for food. X

The Weaver of Grass said...

Jules - I wouldn't have thought it had been all that bad a year for food as there have been plenty of berries over the winter..