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Fishink Nature Watch.

July 25, 2012

A Blackbird has been nesting in the jasmin bush in our garden for some months now. We have been happily watching it fly in and out of the bush with food and hearing small excited cheeps and chirrups every now and then.  The bush is in our garden but flows over the wall into the neighbours’ garden too. Yesterday it’s fledglings had come out of the nest. They are a good size but can’t yet fly. The problem is that there are far too many cats in the neighbourhood, including two the live next door who are very curious and who would normally often visit my garden.

The chicks had fallen from the Jasmin bush into next doors garden and whilst I was sitting outside yesterday morning, I heard some fluttering noises, cat bells (from the one tied to it’s collar) and a mother Blackbird shrieking it’s distressed alarm call. I sprang up and into next doors back garden just in time to scare one of their cats away from the young bird. One lay dead on the lawn and the other had squashed itself into a dark corner under some handy twisted vines. Fearing that the second young bird would meet the same fate as the first I scooped the bird up and took it into my garden, where it’s been hiding amongst the shrubbery whilst it’s mum continues to come back and forth feeding it a mix of worms, snails etc.

It’s been quite traumatic and draining for myself, the young bird and the poor distressed and ruffled mum who’s been constantly on the look out for cats, magpies as well as doing it’s rigorous feeding routine. Amazingly the mother seems to understand that we’re trying to help and has been happy to enter the small back garden to feed often when I’ve been standing close by. I’ve felt quite privileged to be part of the survival plan of this youngster, even if it does mean leaping out of bed at 4.45 am because the blackbird is tooting it’s alarm call and the cats are in the garden again ! Here’s a few snaps I managed to get.

The RSPB give some tips on possible foodstuffs to put out at this time of year here. I hope there will be a happy ending to this tale. Fingers crossed that some small bird flight lessons and tail feathers come soon.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2012 3:43 pm

    Great job! I really hope this one makes it!!! must be terrifying for mom & baby. My 2 cats stay indoors, but know they would love a shot at the birds that feed on my back fire escape. Cute to watch, but birds have it tough out there (as do all small prey I suppose :/

  2. July 25, 2012 4:05 pm

    Thanks Allyn, yes I’ve felt very paternal these past few days, even asked the lady next door if she’d mind keeping her cats in for a couple of nights thinking, ‘that’s two less to worry about’ lol Mother seems to be still feeding, so all good so far.

  3. July 26, 2012 4:33 pm

    Reminds me when my Dad found an abandoned nest of blackbirds. He hand reared them, getting up several times in the night to feed them dog chappie dog food with a pipette! He managed it and when they fledged, they used to revisit the garden and would perch on his shoulders!
    Good luck

    • July 26, 2012 8:39 pm

      What a lovely story. Alas the little bird didn’t make it through the day. I fear it was attacked by a cat last night and lost the will to live today. Was all quite a traumatic experience. Thanks for sharing your story all the same. I have a lovely image of blackbirds perched on his shoulders.

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