So we had a family of great tits that nested in the bird box Noah built. They've gone now, flown the nest already and we miss the sound of their constant cheeping and the lively coming and goings of their parents. It was all over so quickly.
It's not all endings though, we've also been happy to watch some beginnings. We have blackbirds in the garden and a few days ago one of their chicks took his first steps and shook out his flight feathers just outside our door. We all felt very privileged to see and hear this, daddy blackbirds are very, very noisy caretakers! The downside was keeping the cat indoors most of the day to give this little family a chance to find a more suitable, as in safer, place for this to be going on.
Still, what a great homeschooling natural science opportunity! We discovered that baby blackbirds spend their first few days as fledglings on the ground. We were surprised by that because it seems such a dangerous operation. In fact its because their main food sources are earthworms and caterpillars which are found close to the ground. They keep a low profile in any cover they can find. We think our little visitor had got a bit confused and left the safety of the nearby bushes then got a bit disorientated as to how to get back. His dad kept calling to him non-stop probably to guide him back to safety and several hours later when we checked again he was gone.
Incidentally if you do come across a baby blackbird bear this information in mind before you decide he's been abandoned. We originally worried about our little visitor before reading up about blackbirds and becoming aware that the noisy blackbird in the nearby tree was no doubt dad. Here's some pictures I got of the little ball of fluff and the very protective papa.