This week Olly and I have been watching a Blackbird family help their chicks to fly the nest. It seems to be just the male Blackbird doing the job, and I've wondered where the Mum is. He's been busy feeding them, encouraging them into independence and chasing away any possible threat. The chicks have been seen sat on the climbing frame or the fence, chirping plaintively. They are chubby things and still have their speckled tummies of babyhood.
We also watched a frog scuttle across the decking and plop into the pond, while we were playing in the sand pit, threw countless snails into the empty garden next door, planted more perennials to attract bees and butterflies and may have seen a newt in the pond.
It's a privilege to watch and to share these things with my baby, who is as that brilliant age where everything is wonderful and fascinating. I'm pretty sure he isn't caught up in the wonder of the baby Blackbirds in quite the same way as me, but it's great that he has already learnt how to humour his mother.
Obviously I'm no photographer, but here are two fledglings on Monday morning. They were very forlorn and kept peeping for their parents. Olly and I were able to get quite close, and Olly was very good at keeping quiet.
A close up of the one who seemed more confident. He explored more and flew round the garden several times.
This was taken this morning. The fledgling spent a long time in the garden looking for breakfast. There was no calling to his parents, and it was sort of sad to see him fending for himself. He seemed to be doing okay though.