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.
I really had such fun watching the busy whitethroat adults bringing in food to their young at Heather Farm last week! So much on the menu; moth, caterpillar, damselfly and this rather magnificent spider. Good thing there are lots of these arachnids around the grassland! A few of the whitethroat families seem to have fledged already but these parents were still busy feeding today, when I visited briefly for 30DaysWild. I will miss the fledging as we will be going to our beloved Kos in Greece this week! I probably won’t get a chance to blog, but I will be posting a few photos on my Twitter feed @MiradorDesign. So, I’m posting late at night, or early in the hours of Monday morning, to enter this one into the weekly challenges and give myself more packing time tomorrow! Hope you all have a great few first weeks of Summer and I will catch up when I return.
I managed to get a few images of this wonderful robin family in the Florence Nightingale Garden, at St Thomas’s Hospital. It was absolutely tipping it down with rain most of the time! Of course that brought up plenty of worms in the flower beds. The two juveniles that I saw were loudly calling for food under the roses! I have processed my main image as a birthday gift for my brother, Robin. He and my sister-in-law, Morwenna, are expecting their first little bundle of joy, a baby boy, in September! I am one very excited auntie already and so very happy for them 🙂
This one is a fair representation of my brother a child!!
I have many many wonderful wildlife moments this last week while taking part in 30DaysWild, but taking my parent along to Thursley Common NNR was a real highlight! My dad is recovering from a hip replacement that has been long overdue. His mobility is still a bit restricted but he is finally able to walk far enough to get out onto the boardwalk at Thursley to see the birds, lizards, orchids and dragonflies. I can just about manage my electric wheelchair onto the site with a bit of help, this time provided by my mum and my aunt, who got me past a few missing boards and over some awkward roots.
We could only stay a short time and I was so thrilled to find the treecreepers once again nesting in the spot they occupied last year! Absolutely wonderful to watch them. The marsh orchids are really starting to carpet the bog in patchworks of purple, broken up by fabulous grasses, including native cotton grass. Such a delight to look upon! Damselflies and dragonflies are starting to increase in numbers, bringing the hobbies in to hunt over the ponds. I found many lovely lizards, one was even kind enough to stay put while my dad came in closer to get a photo with his phone!
Wisley’s young wagtails are on a steep learning curve now. They’ve fledged! This series of images is created from stills taken from a video I shot last week on Tuesday. The adults were still busy feeding their five offspring in the nest and the plant pot (yes, they outgrew the nest and spilled out into the pot!). By Thursday only two youngsters remained in their pot. Now they’re all outside getting used to the big wide world. The adults will continue to provide food, while encouraging the fledglings to find their own meals. I’m on my own steep learning curve with video files! This is the first time I’ve used HD video to create stills. There’s a lot to take in and quite a few different methods to use. I think I need to refine my techniques a bit more but it’s not a bad start! This is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge. Good luck to all entering
There are five hungry little chicks in the nest in the Wisley Growers Glasshouse! Joe and I are continuing to collaborate in filming and photographing these little bundles of fluff as they grow to adulthood. These images were taken last Monday when the chicks were a mere four days old! By Thursday they had already grown significantly and I could see the start of feathers forming. I have been away over the weekend and strongly suspect that when I get back to see them tomorrow they will be practically spilling out of that neat little nest! The biggest chick is always the one to open up it’s beak widest and quickest but all five are getting regular feeds from the adults and seem to be doing really well. I can’t wait to see them again! This adult’s eye view into the nest is my enty for Wex Mondays this week and I hope to update you all further next Monday.