Photo: RSPB website
Rather exciting to see one of these walking across the lawn this afternoon. It's a ring ouzel, presumably on its way into Britain and heading for the nearby moorland and summer nesting ground. I was hoping to get a photograph of it, but the resident blackbirds were very agressively seeing it off even as I spotted it. The population is in serious decline in here, so I count myself lucky to have had even a fleeting sight.
The jackdaws, meanwhile, are frantically flying in the most bizarre collection of potential nesting material, bits of fluff (deer and dog?), spare feathers - even an unattached pheasant wing, which was proudly conveyed to the nest site. Ten minutes later, it was lying on the lawn - rejected? too heavy to stay put? A little later still, it had disappeared again, replaced, I assumed, but then I saw one of the jackdaws flying away from the nest with it. I'm not sure whether it was a strange bird, poaching, or a disenchanted partner ("It's not hygienic, dear!") Five minutes later, and its proud finder was back again with the wing firmly clutched in its beak. I guess it has now been cemented in!