Friday, May 13, 2011

The emotional rollercoaster that is the wood shed

This year's April showers have arrived late this year, and working outside in May has been a case of trying to dodge the worst of these. Some of these 'showers' have been quite unpleasant. The other day it was thunder and lightning. Today it was hail stones!

If the showers look to be passing over quickly, I usually take shelter in the 'woodshed', that outbuilding at Skip which is, I must admit, somewhat quirky. Many things at Skip are quite quirky, but the 'woodshed' probably deserves status as a listed building!

The shed is full of junk, of course. In one shower, I took the opportunity to sort out all these various pots!

Part of the shed does indeed store wood for next winter.

Last summer I didn't use the shed much. You see, it was occupied. A pair of blackbirds had set up home. The female tried to raise no fewer than three batches of young. I think some of the first brood fledged OK. I found dead chicks from the second lot fallen from the nest. I could not believe it when all the eggs in the third batch hatched, but sadly the female, for some reason, didn't come back to the nest and they all died.

I noticed traces of a new nest last month, in a most inappropriate place, in a gutter. This was during the dry spell. I cleared away these early efforts, and thought I had persuaded the birds to nest elsewhere!

Not a chance. Sheltering from a shower this week, I had the feeling I was being watched. Look behind the hosepipe in the picture above!

Not only was there a beautiful nest, but it had five eggs. Since then, the female has been sitting on them. And I've been creeping in and out of the shed. I just hope it's not going to be the same catalogue of emotions as last year.

When is Springwatch on the box this year?

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