Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Staying alert

There's no mixed or confused messaging in the blackbirds' alarm calls.  From the kitchen, we could hear a furious clucking from the garden, with the rival hen blackbirds joining forces to deter a potential predator.  When I went into the lane outside the house, there was a magpie and a sparrowhawk on the ground presumably engaged in a dispute of their own.  After the hawk flew off, the magpie came back to prospect for the blackbird's nest, and this is when I saw her on top of the car, tail cocked high, fluttering her wings, stamping her feet and clucking.  She's moved her nest site for her second brood, and I think she has kept it safe on this occasion.

She has become increasingly confiding in the garden this last couple of weeks.  She's no longer raiding the plant pots for worms or collecting compost to line her nest. She comes to feed on an old apple when it is next to my feet.

There were a lot of people in the village on this hot, sunny day.  There are signs that the easing of the lockdown is already being taken advantage of, and some people weren't keeping their distance.  We shall see what happens next.

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