Ho hum, another year, another chance to imitate Bill Oddie, not by choice I hasten to add!
Last year I found myself precariously balancing our ladder at the top of the tree at the bottom of the garden, whilst simultaneously clutching a baby wood pigeon who had been stupid/brave enough to attempt to 'fly the nest' before actually being ready to do so.
Yes yes, I know, "don't touch it, don't do this or that, leave it alone, it's mother will return" blah blah blah! If we didn't have such spiteful foxes where we live I would do exactly that.
But we do.
So I can't.
If you read here, you will see why I feel such a sense of duty towards our feathered friends. It's so tedious though! Every year, guaranteed, one of the little beggars will have gone for glory in a vain attempt at impressing it's obviously difficult to please parents.
Anyways, the little chap pictured below was this years contender for annoying little tit (note the hopelessly misplaced sense of superiority on his part), was this little fellow. I have to hand it to him mind, at no point did he look remotely bothered that two squealing children and a taller, uglier, human bean were all bearing down on him.
We put down a bottle cap of water, some bird seed from our feeder and some bread crusts. No sooner had we retreated, then one of the parents appeared, had a drink, nicked some seed and then flew off, ignorant to the chirruping of the chick.
They did return, albeit briefly, but to feed their offspring with something that was obviously tastier than our earlier offerings and we watched in delight as he ate happily.
As light faded, we locked our doors and left him to his fate.
We were rewarded in the morning with the sight of Master Blue Tit hopping around the garden, while we sat eating our breakfast and I have to admit to being very relieved to see him.
We saw nothing of him the next day and assumed that his strength was up and his featheres had grown enough to enable him to 'take to the wing'.
Everything was going to be just fine.
Until this evening, when Joseph stooped down to pick up the shuttlecock for our badminton game and came face to face with the ever so dead remnants of Mr Birdie, feet up the air and a relaxed look on his little vis. He looked peaceful enough, almost perfect in fact. If it weren't for the fact that creepy crawlies had had a nibble on his back, no-one would've been any the wiser.
And so, one brief burial ceremony later, this year's contender for 'Bravery in the face of Impossibility' was laid to rest in our garden.
Here's to next year!!!