As I sit at my desk I can see through the window, at a distance of some ten metres, a low dry-stone wall that I built to retain a raised flowerbed (the photo – not a very good one – shows another wall that I built at the front of the garden).
Ten days or so ago, I noticed a pair of coal tits entering and leaving a hole in the retaining wall – it was obvious that they intended to nest. This concerned me somewhat, as we have a cat and two terriers, all with a history of extreme anti-bird prejudice. At first they didn’t seem to notice the coal tits, but a couple of days ago all three started to take a serious interest in the comings and goings at the hole, which is only 18 inches or so from the ground.
I keep a watchful eye on the would-be predators when I can, and chase them away from the wall; I placed a wheelbarrow in such a way as to hinder them. I was afraid that all the activity might scare the coal tits and cause them to abandon their eggs or brood, but no – they perch on a nearby corkscrew hazel and return to the nest when the coast is clear.
Of course I am quite fond of these tiny, irrepressible bundles of energy by now, and would be very disappointed should anything untoward happen to one of them or, in due course, their fledglings. It’s a bit of a worry.