Photos Copyright: Maggie May
This is the view I have from my back garden of a lovely, tall eucalyptus tree. It belongs to a neighbour further up the terrace.
It is good to see trees and greenery in city gardens as the birds use the trees for nesting and perching.
My neighbour is very fond of any wild life that visits her garden and she puts out bird feeders, like I do.
I had seen blackbirds using this tree on a number of occasions and I regularly get a couple of them searching for worms in my garden. I don't have any lawn but they seem to know which bushes to search under for choice worms and I only posted about the way that they can pile half a dozen worms in their beaks without dropping any, the other day. It is amazing to see them at work.
Earlier in the year, I did think blackbirds were interested in nesting in my tall Eleagnus shrub and a nesting couple went back and forth for several days with twigs........ obviously starting a nest.
I don't know for sure what scared them off, but one evening I saw a huge carrion crow peeping over the wall, watching the proposed nesting site. Its face looked positively evil.
They stopped visiting the shrub after that, but continued to look for worms, especially during the evening.
The other morning, I heard the sound of a chain saw. I knew what it was because my neighbour had told me about the intended lopping of the eucalyptus tree.
The noise went on for a while. It certainly wasn't unusual. The tree is regularly cut back every few years in order to keep the tree's growth under control, as we all have fairly small gardens here.
Suddenly, the noise and commotion seemed to stop abruptly and the tree was left much taller than it had been on other occasions, but I soon forgot about it.
Later on in the day, I heard that the men had found a nest in the tree with several blackbird fledglings in it. They had feathers but were obviously dependant on the adult birds for food and protection. The men were postponing the rest of the pruning for a month in the hope that they will have flown the nest by then.
My neighbour was filled with remorse at having the tree surgeons in as she is the last person who would have caused harm to any wild life.
I must admit that I hadn't given a thought to the blackbirds being in the tree, though it was obvious that they were nesting somewhere near to me.
I thought that the poor fledglings would be abandoned after that intrusion, because the men had taken half the branches off the tree as you can see from the picture below and the saws did make a terrible noise.
These things happen, it wasn't done on purpose.
That night, I had my granddaughters for a sleep-over and next morning, while I was tidying their bedroom, I saw Mrs Blackbird sitting in a tree at the end of my garden with worms neatly draped in her beak. She flew straight to the eucalyptus tree, so I knew that the fledglings were still alive.
However, they are not out of danger yet because they now have to face that horrible carrion crow while they are learning to fly, as well as the half dozen or so cats marauding around the area, not to mention the fox. Oh well........ it doesn't pay to get too sentimental about them. It does seem to be a hard life though, if you are a bird.......especially if you are a feathered variety.