Yesterday was a very sad day. I went to the Thanksgiving Service of my friends thirteen year old son. When I returned home I knew straight away that the flycatcher chicks had gone.
Just an empty nest
Rob had fought cancer bravely for the past three and a half years. Yesterday we all met at a small village church to say thank you for his life, and to thank him for the love he had touched so many peoples lives with.
“Bright clothes welcome” said the announcement in the paper. This wasn’t going to be an occasion for dark clothes and tears. We filled the church and a marquee set up next door. There were lots of funny stories to smile and laugh about, the vicar was just like the Vicar of Dibley (and gave a brilliant, sensitive and heart warming service), and afterwards the kids ran around in the July sunshine as we drank tea in the village hall.
When I got home I knew straight away that something had happened to the flycatchers. Their nest was silent and the parents were nowhere to be seem. Andrew got the extending ladders out and I climbed up to look inside the nest. Nothing. Just an empty perfect nest.
So what happened? I think it was a magpie. I’ve watched the parents in the last few days see one off. Chasing it across the garden followed by a gang of juvenile blue-tits happy to join in with some action. The main predator of flycatchers has been found to be jays. No jays here at the moment but plenty of young aggressive magpies.
So now there are two more parents without their chicks. As in our lives, so it is with nature. Next year I hope to add two more nest boxes under the eaves. Two more chances of encouraging this beautiful bird back to my garden.