Sunday, 21 July 2013
I knew it had to happen but my heart sank when my young cat Titch brought in her first bird the other day. Luckily I was on hand to rescue it and Titch did not seem to know what to do next anyway. The little sparrow didn't seem to be physically injured and after a rest on my hand (with Titch locked away upstairs) it calmed down and I put it on top of the coalshed in the shade. I could hear it's anxious parent in the hedge so I left it alone and when I went back to look some time later it had gone.
It is a dangerous time for young birds leaving the nest but perhaps this current very hot weather is a good thing for them as, if my cat is anything to go by, days are spent flopping about in the shade not stalking small creatures. However these young swallows I spied on the telephone wires across the road the other day, do not have such worries. Completely out of reach they were there all morning, with the parents bringing them tasty titbits every couple of minutes. And I spent far too much time watching them instead of getting on with other things.
No such luxury for the swifts however. Once they leave the nest they are on their own and are apparently ignored by their parents. There is a large colony in the middle of town. They return every year to nest behind this red building and have done so ever since I became aware of them some years ago. Sadly they won't be here much longer for their long journey south will begin when August arrives. I will miss their aerial acrobatics and the joyous screeching that is so much a part of summer in the UK.