I watched a wee wren gathering nest material this morning and flying numerous times towards a corner of the house where there is a clematis growing. I’d forgotten about it but later when I was passing the clematis it flew out. At a height above the ground that should be safe from cats there was an almost completed nest. I don’t know how many nests this male is building for the choice of his lady wren but this one is certainly a beauty.
I’d gone in to the garage to look for something I was going to take to Mull tomorrow for our week’s holiday and noticed a lot of leaves in a blue plastic box. Further inspection revealed a lovely robin’s nest with five brown-speckled eggs. Normally on seeing a nest and eggs like this I’d be pleased, but in fact my heart sank. I remember seeing a robin with some nest material near the open door of the garage away back about the end of March or beginning of April. I wondered if it was going to be nesting in the garage and watched it for about ten minutes to see where it took the beakful of nest material. It eventually flew round the back of the garage and I assumed that was where the nest would be. The garage door was still being left open from dawn till after dusk at that point as a blue tit went in to the garage every night to roost. As the weather warmed up and the evening light stretched a bit I began to shut the door well before dark, excluding the blue tit but knowing it would be nesting before long anyway and would not need this cosy bedroom until next winter. Shortly after that I (lazily) began to leave the car out at night since the risk of frost was well past. I must then have excluded the robin. I told my wife, Jan, about this and she said that was the second disaster in two days as when she had a bath the night before she found a large spider floating on the water. She really likes spiders and she must have either drowned it or scalded it to death.
To brighten up the afternoon I went and took a photograph of the blackbird clutch that should be fledging within the next week. They are also in a clematis climbing over a pergola. They were snoozing in a blink of sunshine unaware of my presence. To complete the trio of clematis-nesters, a collared dove has a nest in yet another clematis beside the sitting room window.
The next excitement for the afternoon was watching (as I typed this) two of the red squirrels mating on the ground in the wood. They were writhing and somersaulting about the ground in the manner stoats often do, then coming together to mate. It was an odd ritual and one I have never seen before. I’m not sure whether this will lead to kits later in the year as I always thought young squirrels were born in the first half of the year but I will read up on this.
Lastly the eight new ducks are doing fine and will be left in the capable hands of my daughter and son in law while Jan and I enjoy our fourth Mull holiday, but our first with Molly the dog.