So my blackbird was around most of the Winter, and he was easily tempted into my garden, with pickings under the bird table, and mealworms and fruit carefully hidden in the flower beds, where the hungry crows rarely dared to venture.
And towards the end of April I was pleased to see he had found himself a lady friend. I spotted him encouraging her into the garden, showing her around the best spots where the mealworms lurked, and she seemed very impressed. She got even more interested when she spotted the roof.
G had built a lean-to against the house under the balcony, and for reasons known only to him and a fellow lean-to building conspirator, the roof was covered with grass. Sort of like a Hawaiian coconut stall. Except the grass wasn’t exactly thatched down very well, looking ,well a bit on the messy side, and it’s a miracle it’s stayed on at all.
To Mrs Blackbird, the thatch was placed there entirely for her benefit, despite it being far closer to the house, than most birds ventured. So she spent a couple of weeks going backwards and forwards harvesting bits of it and building what I can only imagine was a beautiful tropical thatch nest, hidden in next doors’ hedge. Not just collecting the little bits that had blown off, oh no. Making defiant eye contact with me the other side of the glass, she kept herself busy yanking off large strands of thatch, that were really too big to fly with. Off they went into the nest in the hedge to be woven into her perfect nest
I’d really like to say this story had a happy ending. That the little baby blackbirds emerged from their tropical nest and popped down for a mealworm feast, but sadly I never did see the blackbirds with young. I think maybe a predator got to the nest, perhaps crows or jackdaws. A few weeks later I saw her again disappearing with twigs, this time into our hedge nearer the house, but again, we never did see any signs of them feeding young, or any fledglings.
Do try again this year Mrs B, there is plenty left!