This is a follow-up to yesterday’s wordless (mostly) post where I uploaded some of the photos of our baby blue tits from last week.
My mind has been on the weather, following the emerging news stories from Mid Wales especially and reports from the flooded out Springwatch team. They talk of severe ‘summer’ storms but there was nothing summer about this one, even by this country’s standards. I felt besieged within my home, the storm relentless and I could only think of four fledglings that had just gone their own way in the world. Where does your responsibility end? An equal chance to others of their species was all I legally had to promise them. Can you take responsibility for them once they leave the nest? Can you somehow change their choices, their decisions? I don’t know. I’ve asked myself those questions time and again. It’s partly my mood and personality anyway.
We lost two. We know that much.
But the other two? We don’t know. They could have roosted, made a sensible decision as to where to perch or hide. Who knows. There were quite a few sparrows darting in and out the rambling rose last week, I don’t think I’ve seen any back yet. Where did they go? Are they safe? I don’t know. I don’t know how this Nature thing works. Baby birds don’t really come when you call them anyway, even puppies are more responsive but they have grown now and we only know their baby call. We will keep our eyes peeled.
We are keeping our eyes peeled; husband rushed into the room the other day and grabbed something. A little while later he wandered back in and I noticed that it was the binoculars that he had secured. I asked him why he’d wanted those. He mumbled something about having thought he’d seen something. Something? A something. A blue tit something? Maybe. Was it? No, just a leaf on a bush at a very long distance. We call from the balcony too sometimes. There are few birds out even now.
Last week we were starting to think that perhaps Manky would never be able to fly. There was a lot of flapping but no take-off ever, maybe it just wasn’t going to be possible for him (we refer to them all as ‘he’ regardless). We built him a ‘ladder’ to the curtain pole so he spend some time at the same level as the others, we had to help him perch then he made the ascent in clownish side steps. But no, Manky has yet again overcome his odds. He is flying. A little clumsy at times, some messy landings but he is getting there. He even landed upside down on the ‘ladder’ the other day. I cheer him, going Good Boy Manky whenever possible. He sometimes must think he’s a budgie because he trills and trills, most unlike his brothers’ calls. He was yelling his head off on Saturday morning. I went in and found him perched on the mirror frame. I asked him if he was stuck. He took offence and pretended to ignore me. I told him to fly off he wanted to be somewhere else. In the end, I lifted him off and let him fly from my hand. It happened twice. I’m sure that he was calling me. Husband is cynical. Sunday morning he was reaching great new heights, the tops of the bookcases. Again, I heard him yelling for all he was worth. I found him and told him he was a Good Boy then he fell silent. It happened at least twice. Husband is cynical. Although he’s increasingly wary, he seems to be prepared to choose company when it suits.
This morning he took a plunge bath in the water bowl. Sadly and poignantly proving the point that waterlogged feathers aren’t good for flying. He went and sulked in the little cactus tree until he dried.
He’s self-feeding too, obsessed with melon and still rather too keen on baby food. But he chased a worm out of the tub the other day and took it off. It’s a good sign even if like me you don’t like talk of mealworms, especially not fresh mealworms if you get my meaning.
He’s not ready to go out yet though. His development will be slow. We may even have to wait upon this wretched Jet Stream. Apparently, that’s what’s causing all these problems, it moved. Husband says that he’s pretty sure that was the theme or cause of some recent end-of-the-world disaster movie. Very encouraging.
It’s easy to think that once returned to Nature, as if Nature embraces them with open and welcoming arms, that an animal, a bird will be fine. It is a very mouse eared approach to life, a life where Nature is a beautiful, meaningful Mother Figure who cares for all, a protectrice. Real life Nature isn’t quite the same. It is the fledglings that will be particularly hard hit, maybe those still in nests will be sheltered by well-built creations and their parents. The adult birds will hopefully have both sense and good fortunate in choosing their roosts. Maybe it’s the way a cruel Nature addresses the balance after a very mild winter. I don’t know.
Manky is roosting too now, high up on the curtain pole at bedtime. And of course, now that he is self-feeding, we don’t have to get up at five for feeds. Ah, the joy. My body no longer does mornings.
He also seems to believe that he is a woodpecker. He pecks at things continually; the tap-tap-tap of his beak is the soundtrack of our day mixed with his choral renditions. The curtains (for which he was told off), the very annoying piece of thread hanging off the curtains which is just out to get him (apparently) and the wheel of an ornamental campervan (that’s annoying, beak and metal echo combined, never mind the vandalism). Plus anything else he fancies having a go at. We’ve no idea why, he’s the only one who has done it constantly. Beak cleaning is to be expected (and his preening skills are coming along although he looks so fluffy still, you’d mistake him for a duckling) but this is different. Investigation? How to drive humans up the wall when sharing the same room as them? Who knows.
We still have Manky.