Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

The Big Build


There is a whole lot of nest building going on.  I’m not sure how this thrush managed to find its way back to the nest site…

Thrush nesting

But it did.

Thrush nesting 2

We’re a little concerned as it seems a very exposed site, in an oak tree near the pond.

Thrush nesting 3

It’s only a hop, skip and a jump for the cats to be up there. We’ve already had  the bodies two young rabbits, two robins and three mice on the door mat, in the last couple of weeks. I suppose when the leaves open it will be better hidden. Fingers crossed. 


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

12 thoughts on “The Big Build

  1. That first picture is wonderful. Fingers crossed for them xx

  2. That first picture made me laugh! Hope the nest stays safe.

  3. What a wonderful capture. Well done!

  4. That is a serious amount of nesting material – I wish I had your photography skills.

    Here I’ve seen our local birds collecting Doug’s fur to use in their nests – obviously not direct from Doug – just collecting it from all those nooks and crannies where moulted fur, chewed twigs, bits of old tennis balls and other dog debris collects.

    This was confirmed when I went to put out our green garden waste bin for collection. We had over-filled it on the day it was last emptied two weeks ago and couldn’t quite get the lid closed. When I opened it yesterday prior to putting it out I found a robin’s nest therein complete with five eggs snuggled in Doug’s fur.

    • That’s the very definition of opportunistic! I trust you let them stay? Or perhaps not. We have mallards around our marinas who will use cockpit pockets and such for their nests. I know of some sailboats who stayed at the dock until the babies had hatched and gone off with mama. It’s always a decision, what to do.

      • Yes, they are still there and the council have given us a replacement bin – whilst I was looking at the nesting bin this morning at about 6am hoping to see the occupant fly out I had the pleasure of watching our local barn owl fly right past me a couple of times, which was a real bonus.

      • Have they hatched yet? We’ve put an owl box up, not sure if they are using it though.Owls do seem to have a ‘beat’ that they regularly patrol, earlier in the year, I could be sure of one, if not two tawny owls appearing in the half light, in a tree outside our house at 06:50 each morning, now the days are longer I don’t manage to see them…

      • I don’t want to look for fear of disturbing her and we can’t see it easily from the house so i’m not sure – I haven’t heard any tweeting of hungry chicks yet.

        Re the barn owl – he/she flew overhead as we walked down to the pub last night clutching either a very large mouse or a small rat.

        We’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of one of those very rare things – a real country pub that does good food in which you are accepted even if you haven’t lived in the village for twenty years, aren’t related to everyone and don’t have webbed toes and have more than one eyebrow (which is more than I can say for the pub in the next village).

  5. That first photo is a complete delight. I get to watch birds build their nests all around the marinas at this time of year. The starlings favor the tops of pilings. The pilings all are protected with a cone-like cap that often sits just enough off kilter that the birds can get underneath. Voila! No rain, no predators. It’s a perfect solution, and it’s great fun to watch the whole process.

  6. It is good to see that in spite of everything the birds return, spring flowers bloom, and the hair of the dog is duly recycled. We have heard but not seen our barred owls and pileated woodpeckers. Later in the week I am supposed to have new glasses. We’ll see if that makes a difference!

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