During COVID-19 lockdown we’ve spotted more bird nests in the garden than at any time in the previous 10 years. Here they are — in order of discovery (all spotted within a month from mid-April to mid-May, 2020):
- Cardinal nest on the way into the wood was the first nest of the year. She laid two speckled eggs in this nest but it lasted less than a week before she’d abandoned it and both eggs disappeared. I blame the blue jays who are known to rob nests. But it could also have been a snake or a raccoon.
- Robin nest in the rhododendron. She successfully raised at least two offspring at the beginning of May high in this bush.
- Dove nest in the juniper tree. We spotted a nest but we didn’t see the dove on there at all. However, a few weeks later Milo found the remains of a dove egg and lots of poop under the tree so I think she had another nest hidden in there somewhere.
- Starling nest. There are so many along Main St in holes in the trees or in nooks in buildings. They like to hunt for food in our front garden.
- New cardinal nest in the thick and thorny rose bush outside the back door. It’s too thick to see if there are any eggs, but she’s sitting on it all day long. No blue jays in sight.
- New robin nest in the cypress shrub in the front garden. The most beautiful robin nest I’ve seen. No mud, just grass.
Also, we spotted this striking evening grosbeak (a heavy-set finch with a thick beak) in the cherry tree one evening last week (captured rather poorly on my iPhone). We haven’t seen one before and it was stunning with a very golden chest! The female was with it but she was less striking. Milo said he saw it again in the same tree a couple of days later. There’s nothing like sticking close to home all day, every day, to notch up some good nature observations.