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Blue tit in flight

It was TV gold – and probably the main reason I could never even contemplate becoming a wildlife TV presenter. Chris Packham (naturalist of Springwatch fame) last night uttered the immortal phrase ‘and now we’re going to look at a lovely pair of great tits’…

I’ve been paying more attention to tits than normal of late. My handsome Bakker Spalding bird box  – hung up last spring and forgotten about – suddenly announced itself as home to a thriving family of birds. There was a constant cheeping that became the soundtrack to my visits to the allotment throughout the month of May.

These tiny chicks taught me a valuable lesson. When my blackcurrant bushes were ravaged by greenfly, I was more than a little tempted to reach for the spray gun. I’m so glad I didn’t – a pair of blue tits, parents to the box full of babies, diligently picked the bushes clean (with a bit of help from some ladybirds). Proof that organic gardening and patience together make the best combination.

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Ready for my Close up

I spent a couple of happy half hours sat in an old garden chair (a hugely rewarding echo of doing the same thing, in the same spot last winter)  watching first the adults flit back and forth on their food-gathering missions, then, joy of joys – seeing the babies poke their heads out of the box for their first view of the world.

Now they have fledged, flown the nest and gone. The cacophony of adolescents has fallen silent, and birdsong has shifted out of focus, gone from foreground to background, immediate to abstract. I feel almost bereaved, and suddenly the meaning behind the term ‘empty nest’ becomes all too clear. Let’s hope one of those babies returns to use the box next year.

Useful links

See the results of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

See all Bakker Spalding’s birdcare products.

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