Country diary: a pair of blackbirds has moved in by the kitchen window

Country diary: a pair of blackbirds has moved in by the kitchen window

Sandy, Bedfordshire: I have a sink-side view of the nest, and for the next few months we will be tenement-close neighbours

An underemployed male blackbird is perched at the top of the hedge, not singing, not feeding, not pecking the hell out of another male. Just watching. Down in the garden below, his mate is working her beak off.

Caution is a winter word to her, such is the strength of her spring instinct to make a nest. She might be only a pounce away from a cat’s claws, or a second from a sparrowhawk’s talons, but all prudence and wariness seem to have deserted her as she hammers into the mossy bank of the pond with woodpecker singlemindedness.

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