In human terms, Wally my ageing cat would be a pensioner like me. As a seventy-year-old, I wish I was still as agile as he. It was four-thirty, I’d been up long enough to make a steaming brew. Then sit out in the back garden to enjoy the tranquillity and fresh morning air as the sun was coming up.
Wally, who had followed me outside, immediately picked up a scent. His head began darting to and fro, eyes sharp, scanning for whatever caused the smell. I remembered the fledgling Blackbird from the previous evening. It had somehow found its way into my garden from the protection of its nest high in the Clematis hedge next door. I quickly coaxed, Wally back inside the house then carried on relaxed to enjoy my brew.
Last evening, I knew there was possibly a chick somewhere about because both parents were fluttering backwards and forward, trying to locate it. Chirping loud warnings as they did so, for both next doors cat Rorie, and, Wally was lurking. On my part, I searched around the giant Poppy’s I have growing in the border, to see if I could find it and further protect the baby from the soon to be snoozing felines. To no avail.
Would it survive the cold night away from its parents?
With, Wally safely out of the way, I then heard the faintest little chirp in the vicinity of the out-building at the back of the garden and went to investigate. Lo and behold, there nestled up against the brickwork and an old ceramic planter I saw the fluffy bundle huddled in the corner.
But, it was too much of a tight gap for either of its parents to reach. So, I decided to move the planter out a little. The disturbance caused the chick to dart under a gap in the door and hence safety of the building. Oh no! I thought, the brick building is loaded with paraphernalia, and the parents would never be able to find it. I opened the door then returned to my brew from where I could observe at a safe distance.
Ten minutes had passed before I saw mum land on the fence. She had a beak loaded with grubs cocking her head trying to locate her baby. She saw me, and from previous meetings knew I wasn’t a threat so hopped to the ground. I watched as she situated the chirp tenaciously, inaudible to human ears and finally her baby.
I then watched her hop out of the building minus grubs and knew the chick had been fed. For the next hour, I observed both parents arrive with a regular supply of food for their offspring, knowing that she/he would survive another day. Afterwards, I was intrigued as to where the bird had found to hide. Looking from the outside I could see that the chick had found respite in an old wicker fruit tray next to the window, no doubt attracted by the sunlight and warmth flooding in.