Friday before last, I had to go to the Central Middlesex Hospital, near Wembley, for a small bowel MRI to check on the adhesions in my gut. Adhesions are often a consequence of abdominal surgery and I’ve had quite a number of operations for my Crohn’s. Anyway, I had to hang around at the hospital for a while after the scan, to wait for the mannitol solution to pass, so I went to the cafe by the entrance. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I saw a pair of song thrush busily taking food to a nest in a small tree outside the front entrance of the hospital. Surely it’s far too early for nesting!
I had come out without any cameras and I was soon cursing myself for it. Heading outside for a closer look, people were wandering around in the area but the birds were ignoring them. I stood there watching the adults bringing in several meals of worms to two very hungry nestlings. Song thrush do start to nest earlier than some other birds, usually having two or three broods during the season, which normally runs from March to August. Nesting is triggered by the weather and we have been having a very mild winter! I managed to capture a few images with my phone as a record, a couple are heavily zoomed as I didn’t want to disturb the birds.
Storm Dennis arrived at the weekend and the weather was truly appalling all week. I couldn’t return to the site with my camera until last Friday. I feared that the weather could have spelled disaster for the nest! When I arrived the nest was empty, but I could hear the thrush making chatting noises in the garden area alongside the hospital. I approached cautiously and hid at the corner of the wall to search the gardens. It was delightful to spot the two fledgings close by, hunkered down in the grass, calling for the adults to feed them. Eventually, the adults managed to coax both fledgings to take a haltering flight into the safety of the hedgerow.
Finding myself vitamin D deficient once again I am trying to get out into the sunshine as much as possible! I spent an afternoon at Bushy Park last week, soaking up those precious rays and watching the wildlife. It was so mild I ended up shedding my big winter coat. It was fun watching the deer and wrens in the bracken near Heron Pond, before heading over to the Woodland Gardens for sunset and a cuppa at the cafe.
Signs of an early Spring were very evident in the Woodland Gardens! Watching the parakeets feasting on cherry blossom is a sight I don’t usually see for another two months! Just as the sun was setting at around half four, I came across one of the resident rabbits. I was really surprised to see one out of the warren at this time of day and year! The rabbits here are more used to people walking by and I was able to get really close to it, capturing the details of the fur and even a reflection of the sunset in the rabbit’s eye. The leaf litter in the background glowed in the late light and this little rabbit just stole my heart!