Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Mr and Mrs Collared Dove defend their nest

This morning Mr Crow, seeking fast food, approached the Collared Doves' tree on foot. It must have been about time for the end of a shift for suddenly there were two Doves facing off Mr Crow who didn't give up easily, taking flight only when he saw movement from inside the house.

I'm wondering if the eggs are close to hatching because Mr/s C-D has been close to the tree all day . . . ready for feeding duty or is it that the sitter and the waiter are keeping guard in case Mr Crow returns?

Meanwhile their cousins the Wood Pigeons are playing 'catch me if you can' around the upper branches of the oak trees and the Magpies are flying in with large twigs to reinforce their nests.

The Dunnocks have been dashing about with dizzying speed in and out of the shrubs and on and off the fences while the Green Woodpeckers laugh hysterically and the Great Spotted Woodpeckers drum loudly on the trees, breaking off occasionally to snatch a hearty meal from the fat cake feeders.

I'm quite sure eggs do not increase in size once laid but it does seem that Mr/s C-D is sitting higher on the nest with each succeeding day. I looked carefully today to see if the eggs had hatched but I think it will be quite clear when they have done so, not least because there will be trees full of Magpies and Crows waiting to take advantage. As Crows and Magpies are sworn enemies maybe their energies will be fully occupied in chasing each other away and the squabs will be safe. I fear this will not be the case, however, and that the little family will become a tasty snack.

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