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  • Drama in the courtyard
  • Premier Icon wingnuts
    Full Member

    We have a small enclosed courtyard that has floor to ceiling windows on to our main room. It has ivy growing down the wall and a nest has been built in it over the last few years. A very secluded and calm spot despite our obvious presence. Its been delightful to watch the parents take material into the undergrowth. Not being a twitcher I don’t know what type of bird they are but they’re small sparrow like with a green hue and the egg fragments are small and blueish. We have never seen any chicks but a couple of days ago we saw a dead body on the shingle floor.
    This morning as we started breakfast we noticed a chick huddled against the wall. I assumed another fatality but Mrs W noticed movement. Shortly after another chick materialised and one of the parents came down and started to feed them.
    I hope they survive but as the space is small (basically a 2.5m square cube) their first flight would be pretty vertical access the open world beyond. Will be interesting to see how things develop. I will try to learn how to do the photo posting thing as well.

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    If the parents are feeding it then leave it be, it should be ok. Just keep an eye out for magpies and chase them off

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CN9_PFnnAgu/?utm_medium=copy_link

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    This isn’t unusual, once the chicks start to fledge, they don’t fly so much as plummet! Even Peregrine Falcon chicks can have problems, as was shown on Points West this evening; a couple of the fledglings at Salisbury Cathedral, have started flying, but they’re the females, and are bigger and heavier, and the warm humid conditions with little wind mean they’ve been landing on the ground and can’t get aloft, because they still haven’t fully developed wing muscles – human intervention has taken them back up the tower to their nest site.
    Just so long as there are no cats, and they’re fairly well hidden from avian predators, like magpies as mentioned, they should be fine. It’s always best to leave them well alone, the parents will look after them.
    This time of year I have a lot of fledgling sparrows, starlings and blackbirds coming into my garden because of the feeders in my acer, in fact the blackbirds had a couple of fledglings in March, and while they were perfectly capable of feeding themselves, they would sit, beaks open, flapping their wings demanding that mum and dad kept feeding them! Lazy little tykes!

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Full Member

    We had a couple of starling chicks last summer who fell out of the nest in our garden. The garden is small and quite open so Mrs F, the kids and I made a few nooks and crannies around the garden so they could hop from cover to cover between feeds. One of them survived to our knowledge as we got to see it taking flight practice. No sign of the second so I like to think it too lived.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    Nature has ways to overcome and fledglings are surprisingly hardy.

    Premier Icon davros
    Full Member

    😯

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    We have oyster catchers nesting – one on top of the high wall in front of the byre and another in the field behind us – the good thing is that by sitting on the nest they’re not attacking their reflections in the window by the front door at 4:30am in the morning! Noisy feckers…

    Premier Icon goldfish24
    Full Member

    This is how a lot of small birds fledge, nothing to be concerned about. They ‘fall out of the nest’ then spend a couple of days with mum and dad keeping an eye on them on the ground. but we can help them by keeping predators out the way. We lock our cat in when the goldfinches fledge (I’m a bird lover but I have a cat… I basically hate myself). Takes them a few days to get off the ground!

    Premier Icon goldfish24
    Full Member

    I’m obsessive about bird ID so I can’t believe you’re not asking us to help. So In the absence of a request, here’s some suggestions.
    Greenfinch. Seems unlikely cos you said “greenish” whereas greenfinch would simply be “green”. Song is like someone singing “greeeeeeen”.
    Therefore I propose blackcap (sounds like the best flute like robin song you’ve ever heard) or chiffchaff (sings chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff-chiff)

    Premier Icon neilnevill
    Free Member

    Reminds me of a few years ago when the now wife was my girlfriend and we were 200 miles apart. Late One Friday this time of year I got a phone call with her in a panic. Turns out she’s just found a ‘fledged’ blackbird chick in her courtyard, it hasn’t the strength to fly over the 8-10′ walls and she’s seen a cat prowl about. After some discussion on what to do the chick spent the night in a card board box in her kitchen, with some water in a saucer, and was set free the next morning…..gf didn’t sleep a wink!

    Premier Icon wingnuts
    Full Member

    So here is the update. During the morning the two fledglings moved about the courtyard. I avoided going and looking as I didn’t want to put the parents off feeding and I only saw them drop down into the space twice.
    About lunchtime I saw that one of the chicks was definitely dead. Spreadeagled and still. The other was crouched in a corner but breathing.
    No sign of the parents.
    By 6.00pm the live one had disappeared but the still body was in the same place.

    This morning there is no evidence of any life or bodies anywhere. No parents about the nest above either.
    I think dehydration could be a factor in survival as it is sun trap with no cover and the floor is slate. Although its exposed, the chances of magpies or larger predators getting at the chicks is unlikely. The depth and smallness of the courtyard means in 15 years I’ve never seen anything bigger than a sparrow descend to the base. As its totally sealed no other vermin/cat etc can get in I’m surprised that all the bodies have vanished.

    I’ll try and get a more accurate description of the parents to identify them properly.

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    This morning there is no evidence of any life or bodies anywhere. No parents about the nest above either.

    I hate to break the news to you but it is highly unlikely the parents came back for the dead bodies and gave them a good Christian burial. You do have something ‘clearing’ the courtyard at nights. Cats, Rats or something.

    Premier Icon wingnuts
    Full Member

    WCA I know I have to face the brutal facts and give up the search for small funeral mounds but I am intrigued as to what will be hoovering up the remains. It really is a 2.5m cube of slate floor, 3 glass walls, 1 brick wall with no gaps (apart from the door into my study which is never left open) and the sky. I’ve never seen any large birds, rodents, cats or zombies in there. Miss Marple, Jonathan Creek?

    Premier Icon redthunder
    Free Member

    If you can’t wait, skip to 1:30 for the main event.

    We have on our patch… untold Starlings, Blue Tits, Robins, Wrens and Blackbirds.

    Goldfinches, Magpies, Great Tits, Cuckoo, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves,  frogs, toads, slow worms and grass snakes.

    Hedgehogs and a Fox have just strolled through.

    and probably Rats.

    Everything is fighting all hands up at the moment.

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