Friday, 31 May 2013

The cycle of life is under way

After a pretty dismal week of foul weather today there were signs that mother nature was again beginning the cycle of renewing life.

I decided that today I would do a job I've been putting off, and cut the hedge along our drive. It sticks out far enough now to move my mirror when I drive the car in. As I was about to set up the ladder I noticed a Blackbird carrying food dive into the top of the hedge.

 Standing some distance away I could just see her head on a nest near the top of the hedge. Now there's a cast iron excuse, no a reason for putting off cutting the hedge, thank you Blackbirds.

 While I was watching the nest a Holly Blue was sunning itself near by, and I also saw a Speckled Wood and a couple of Small Whites, a positive lepidoptera bonanza.

 Opposite Pam's greenhouse, under the eaves of our dining room are three nest-boxes, put there together in the hope of encouraging our disappearing House Sparrows to nest. Once one was used by Sparrows, but on a couple of occasions Tits had used one.I'd see a Great Tit active in the area and today I watch from the greenhouse. I wasn't long before one popped out but that didn't really prove anything.

Fairly soon it, or another returned to the nest, but such was the speed of entry I was unable to see if it was carrying food.

When it came out though, there was the proof that eggs had indeed hatched, it was carrying a faecal sac. Although these may seem a strange habit this is a clever way of keeping the nest in a decent state. After feeding a young bird will present its rear end to the parent and out pops a neatly packaged "poo". The adult removes it from the nest and drops it some distance away. This serves two functions, the nest remains clean and there are no tell tail signs near to the nest to attract predators.


sewable said...

Wow, I didn't know that. A blackbird has built a next right outside my kitchen window in an espaliered plum tree, and I am eagerly watching the progress. Cheers from Adelaide, South Australia

sewable said...

That of course would be nest....