Friday, May 2, 2008

The Final Chapter

Sad news, my fellow birders. My nesting Mistle Thrushes finally abandoned their nest yesterday following a traumatic week.

Things started going downhill at the beginning of the week. As you may remember, the birds had laid four eggs between Saturday 12 April and Tuesday 15 April. All was well on Monday afternoon, despite my concerns regarding a few Jackdaws that had been showing a little too much interest in the nest that morning. All four eggs were in place, but I was becoming increasingly concerned, as I had not seen one of the parent birds for a day or so.

There was mixed news on Tuesday. When I returned home from work, one of the eggs had hatched and a rather forlorn looking chick greeted me as I peered into the nest. Sadly, I could only see two other eggs. The sight of a Jackdaw enjoying an unidentified meal on the roof of my house didn't bode well. Worse still, there was still no sign of the other parent.

The next day, the newly-hatched chick had disappeared. It didn't take Sherlock Holmes to work out that it hadn't decided to fledge the nest a few weeks early! What happened to it remains a mystery, but I strongly suspect another bird enjoyed a hearty breakfast that morning. Very saddening.

Suddenly, on Thursday morning, the second parent returned. Two eggs still remained in the nest and things were looking up. However, my excitement was short-lived. It appears that he [I think it was the male, but I can't be certain] had simply returned in order to collect the mother-to-be. It seemed that they had finally given up the ghost and moved on.

I like to think that the male had spent a day or two constructing a new nest and that they are now making a fresh attempt at bringing up a family. This evening I spotted a Mistle Thrush on the front lawn. I don't know for sure whether it was one of the nesting birds, but I expect it is likely. It showed no interest in the nest and simply appeared to be rooting around for something to eat.

Wherever they are now, I wish them all the best.

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