Winter on the West Coast is a pleasant time - cool and clear and generally quite dry. The days warm up and the spring bulbs cheerfully burst into flower. Now a daffodil will normally cheer up the most morbid soul, but on the West Coast the sight is a touch depressing because it means that Spring is here, and on the West Coast Spring means rain. When you live in a place where the rainfall is measured in meters it rains hard and it rains often, and days of thunder and lightning are fairly normal. This year was no exception but while we sit beside the fire or empty the rain gauge yet again, the animals take it all in their stride, even the birds. I know this because a cunning pair of thrushes built a nest right outside our staff room window and through all the weather chaos we have had our own nature documentary to watch.
At first I didn't notice the nest and I thought it was old. But one day there were three eggs in the nest. With no parent birds to be seen I thought that the nest was abandoned and worried that we might have scared the birds away. But then there were two baby birds in the nest. It was raining particularly hard the day I first saw them and the babies were blue and floppy and, like baby birds everywhere, fairly ugly. Dead for sure I thought, drowned in a nest full of water, but although we still didn't see the parents the two babies thrived (we have no idea what happened to the third egg). I was away for a few days and when I came back I went to check on the birds. To my surprise they had feathers and were finally looking cute. Photo opportunity!! The next day, with thoughts of David Attinborough in my mind and camera in hand I crept to the window and looked out - the nest was empty!
Do birds recycle their nests? I think that after all the effort in building the nest it would be sensible, but I really have no idea. So now, every morning I go check on the empty nest and one day soon I hope to know the answer to my question, as well as being a bit more diligent with the camera!
PS if you notice a few smears on the photo it is because the window is very dirty - I didn't want to disturb the birds by cleaning it. Now the nest is empty I'll try and get in there, just incase family number 2 is on it's way!
In early 2012 Penny & Nairn moved from central Wellington to South Westland. Welcome to the record of their adventures.