Thursday, 10 July 2014

Nests and Birds and Garden Stuff - A Nature Post

Until a few days ago, we had the loveliest weather. We spent most of our time in the garden, tending the veggies, sitting under the trees with friends, just making the most of the sunshine and beautiful views all round. We had a few wonderfully relaxed, chatty dinners as well.
It had been quite dry for weeks, and our local farmer was getting a little worried that he might have to start using the winter feed for his cows, as the grass wasn't regrowing in the fields which had been cut a couple of weeks ago. Well, I don't think he needs to be worried any longer. It has been raining for days now. We had thunderstorms and very high winds and the ground is thoroughly soaked. Great for our well. But now we could do with some sunshine again. Doesn't look like that is going to happen for a while though.

But while the weather was still good, I took a few photos. A beautiful dragonfly obliged and remained still for me -

The wings are so incredibly delicate!

Butterflies don't often settle down in the garden for long enough to be photographed, but this little chappy did -

Is this a butterfly or a moth? It is quite small -

When my youngest son, the tree surgeon was here last, he cut down a few trees for us, and in one of them he found an abandoned nest, very firmly stuck on a branch. It was so beautifully made and I didn't want to ruin it by trying to get it off the branch, so we left it just as we had found it -

A little while ago, we found the most unusual nest, which had fallen out of a tree. It was made almost entirely with cows' hairs! The fields surrounding our cottage are home to the beautiful white Charolais cows, but I had never come across a nest made from their hair before. Isn't it just gorgeous? -

I wish I knew which birdie it was that took such care building this beautiful little home.

And then there is THIS nest -

It has a bit of a story attached to it.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband started trimming the bushes and hedge at the front of the cottage, because they were growing like crazy. All went well until he trimmed the top and sides of the forsythia. He called me out and told me that he had found a nest in the forsythia, and had almost, ALMOST cut it in half with the hedge trimmer! He had cut within half an inch of the nest at the front and come very close on the top as well. YIKES!!! It was quite high up, so out came the ladders and DH climbed up to check out the nest. And............. there were some tiny little pink, featherless bird babies inside!! Talk about a narrow escape! Couldn't tell how many, but the important thing was, they were alive. 

We felt so terrible about exposing the nest. What to do? We couldn't undo the work, but we used lots of the cuttings to weave into the shrub again and covered the top as well. We anxiously watched from a distance for the next few days to see whether the parents would return to the nest despite all the upheaval. And to our huge relief, they did. Every heavy gust of wind, every rain shower made me go outside and check to make sure the nest was still ok. And finally, after a few days, we had confirmation that at least one baby bird was ok -

It was a windy day, and the little fella looked so cute with those fluffety feathers on top of his head being blown about. 

Amazing how quickly he had developed from a naked little pink thing into almost fully feathered baby. This was on the 4th.

On the 5th, I was the happiest bird mummy in town, lol, three babies alive and well -

Over the next two days, they were getting more and more adventurous, hopping out of the nest and onto a nearby branch. This mummy here was so worried that they might fall down, but of course they were perfectly fine. But us parents do worry, don't we :-)?

On the 7th, they had progressed to hopping everywhere through the bush. The bird parents were getting quite agitated, we could hear them calling for hours and they were staying very close -

The babies looked so grown up. This one was the most active -

The other ones took a little longer to get going-

And then, the most magical moment - our first bird baby flapped its wings and took off for his very first flight. And the parents came shooting down from the tree and accompanied it! What a truly amazing sight!

They kept calling for the other two, so we thought we had better leave them to it. We checked a while later, and they had all gone. Our babies had all flown their nest. It has been such an emotional time, crazy eh?  And the mother in me still worries about them, because the weather has turned so horrid. But I am sure their parents are keeping them safe and sheltered somewhere in one of our trees.

Long, long post, I know, so thank you for sticking with it!

Toodlepip xxx


Dorthe said...

Oh Liz, I love your story told again, how wonderful, and seing the photoes makes me also feel motherly feelings for those sweeties ,lol-
The nests are all so beautiful, but -yes the white cow hair one is incredible -how sweet. Your photoes are wonderful, love the winged little fellows and OH the big birds house with your nest on the branch looks fantastic !
I`m so happy for my own little nest- now in my studio here, for me to enjoy every day, Thank you sweetie.

Marci said...

Lovely post. I, too, worry about the wildlife:)) The nests are beautiful, I have never heard of a white one. Do you suppose the nest builders found the white hair or plucked it direct from the cows? Glad the baby birds grew up, great photos.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

I had an ache in my heart reading your beautiful post Liz.
I just love a good story!
Love the Charolais nest - what a resourceful pair!
Incredible photos to use in your art work.

Createology said...

How very precious each and every little bird nest is. Such a sweet story of how your son and then you husband saved nests for you. I completely understand a "mother's worry about those tiny baby birds being safe and well. I am happy to be home and able to read my favorite blogs once again.

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

Thanks for sharing the lot of beautiful nature photos!
Wish you a nice sunday,
hugs Anja

eileeninmd said...

What a lovely story and post.. I enjoyed following the baby birds and their leaving the nest.. So sweet. I love the photos of the nest and the birds. Well done! Thank you for linking up to my critter party.. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!


Magnifique blog naturaliste. J'adore ! J'adhère.



Vicki Boster said...

My dearest Liz--- this beautiful post called to me across the miles:)
The nests are magnificent-- especially the one filled with cows hair. Oh my-- if I found that nest I would treasure it!

I love the little bird story-- it's priceless. So happy they were ok-- nature can sometimes be sad and that's hard to watch.

Sending you much love--

Manuela said...

wow, wonderful shots!!