Our New Lodger

Our house seems to have become a haven for wildlife. mainly because we’re the only people not chopping trees down in our immediate area. The birds especially appreciate the nesting opportunities.

In the early spring we had three blackbirds slugging it out for bragging rights in the garden. And by slugging it out, I mean exactly that — they’re territorial little buggers, and by the end of the spring one of the birds looked the worse for wear, having lost his tail.

But Skanky the Blackbird -as we christened him- is nothing if not resiliant. Before we went away we noticed that he had a mate. Mrs skanky didn’t seem to mind that he was tail-less.

When we got back from the week down in Dorset, we found that Skanky and Mrs Skanky had nested in the honeysuckle outside our kitchen. And they had four chicks who make a helluva racket. Unfortunately we can’t get a picture since the honeysuckle is too thick (we’ll have to have a word with the neighbours to ask them not to trim it back) but as you’ll see, we have one of Skanky in all his tail-less glory.

I’ve been strafed at least twice by low-flying birds hurtling around the corner to and from the nest before changing direction like boy racers rounding a corner (on two wheels) and on one occasion Skanky had to handbrake stop to not hurtle into my chest. Assuming the cats don’t wipe the chicks out, we could soon have six blackbirds -including fledgelings- causing mayhem right outside our back door.

But it’s nice to have them there, and shows how reliant on our garden vegetation wild birds are.

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• May 2nd, 2011 • Posted in Uncategorized • Comments: 0