Friday 25 March 2011

This is the House that Jack Built

Earlier in the week, I observed some busy activity in the jackdaw community. It started with the bird strutting on the ground in front of me, eyeing up a stick, snatching it up and flying off to a nearby perch. This could only mean one thing. Nest building. For some time, I stood and watched with my p&s, waiting for the moment the bird would reveal which front door this new piece of furniture would have to fit through. All of a sudden, it made for the seemingly smallest knot hole in a plane tree. How the bird and the stick fitted through so easily is probably a secret that only it and the most experienced furniture removal men share. Needless to say, the p&s was inadequate for capturing this activity, so I would return the next day with 'the big one'.

During my walk next day, I observed a second nesting site, this time in a dead tree trunk. For a while I watched the birds going backwards and forwards, this time fitting sticks in through the gap of the broken trunk, with the finesse of a furniture removal man you would opt never to employ again. (Even birds show skill levels). Lifting my camera with the 400mm lens, the jackdaws suddenly became cagey and downed tools as if they suspected I was an H&S inspector. My idea that jackdaws would be willing subjects was obviously wrong and the only way to really observe would be under cover. However, a camou-hide in the middle of my neighbourhood dog-walking paradise might raise some odd comments. So, for now, I think I will just continue to observe in passing, but I can't leave without showing you:

This is the nest that jackdaw is building

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