Friday, 8 June 2012

To Fledge or Not To Fledge......

An important event began today, something I have been looking forward to. Three years ago I put up a few nest boxes around the garden, but it was not until this spring that any have been occupied. Two were taken by Tree Sparrows in early-April, and both contain the sounds of healthy broods being raised. Today saw the first fledgling make its faltering way into the wider world away from the security of the nest box.

With the strong wind and heavy rain showers today was not ever going to be the most of auspicious of starts for the youngsters. In fact, I have to say that at one stage I really didn’t think the one to take the leap was going to make it.
The fledgling took flight mid-morning but didn’t go very far – perhaps only ten feet or so. The rain came down quite heavily, and it was forced to take shelter in the lee of the wall beside the steps. It tried to move out into the open a couple of times, but was driven back to the wall.

One bedraggled fledgling

Sheltering under the wall

There were several visits from one of the parents with titbits, but the youngster looked too bedraggled to last. I thought it might just suffer from the cold, and I was seriously thinking of a potential rescue. However, after 30 minutes the rain stopped, and it flew off after further encouragement of one of its parents, last seen disappearing into the undergrowth at the top of the garden.
One dutiful parent
The number of visits to the box by the parents was drastically reduced, I guess to provide the incentive (that is hunger) for the remainder of the brood to leave. The remaining parent tried to entice the other chicks by calling from the top of the arbour. But they weren’t going to have it. The rain came and went, and I’m guessing that a decision to sit tight was not too hard to make. The food visits resumed, but I expect the remainder of the brood to emerge in the next day or so.

Come on out the rest of you!

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