Monday, 19 April 2010

Watching the neighbours

Jackdaw by soikha

My new neighbours are a very industrious couple. They spend most of the day nest-building, having chosen a desirable site in the ash tree opposite my window, and I can't help watching when I'm supposed to be working. I can't see the nest itself, as it is deep in the ivy I've been threatening to remove - every spring when I decide to start work in the garden, the birds have beaten me to it and I resign myself to waiting until the nesting season is over. Somehow, come the autumn, nothing gets done.

This morning, Cor and Cora (as I am beginning to think of them) are prowling about the lawn collecting clumps of grass mowings, as well as venturing further in pursuit of sticks from around the field margins. Every few minutes they return with beaks full of spiky additions, sometimes flagging under the weight of a particularly choice item. One nearly fell off the branch just now. They are being watched beady-eyed by a pair of wood pigeons, who have previously raised the odd brood in the depths of the ivy (not very sucessfully, the squabs have a distressing tendency to make fatal descents from the heights), and there may yet be some nest-nabbing! Judging by the amount of sparrow activity in the ash tree, there are a number of smaller homes too - that's the excuse for not removing the ivy, it does offer such excellent habitat, though I do worry about the weight of it when the winds are high.

I rather look forward to young jackdaws - they will undoubtedly be noisy, and may be destructive, but I suspect they might prove amusing, if young starlings are anything to go by. The sparrowhawks, by the way, are back as predicted, and telling everyone about it at the top of their voices!


elizabethm said...

I am rather fond of jackdaws. They are so cheerful and industrious somehow, in a noisy way!
Having just read your previous post too I hope you are feeling chirpier yourself.

GeraniumCat said...

Thaks, Elizabeth, yes - my gloomy post was partly as result, I think, of a looming London trip, something I think you might recognise? In fact, the trip was quite restorative, because I went to the theatre and had a wonderful, if solitary, evening, and had lunch with a friend before catching my train. When I am home I am so reluctant to leave!

elizabethm said...

I do so remember that sense of being hugely reluctant to leave home. It is one of the great pleasures of life now that I don't have to!