No sooner had we arrived at our friend Arthur’s place on the Camino de Santiago, near Triacastella, (N. Spain), he announced that he had a blackbird’s nest in the bush clambering over his terrace and that there were two wrens building a nest in the palm tree only 2 to 3 yards away from his kitchen window. Not only that but we spotted a family of young blackcaps ‘playing’ in the elderflower bushes to the left of the terrace. So this is their story…
Let me first ‘set the scene’ with a (very poor) panoramic picture below of Arthur’s terrace – the palm tree is on the extreme far right, the (dark) green ‘blackbird’ bush is also to the right and the elderflowers to the left. (The glass of wine was mine! 😊)
The Blackbirds were clearly well advanced as they all fledged and disappeared within a few days of us arriving. But I did manage to capture the one picture below of at least 3 beaks (at the centre of the image).
The Wrens were having a hard time of it. Their first nest had been destroyed (I forget how now), but they were busy building their second towards the bottom of the dead brown leaves hanging down from the palm tree. Unfortunately a storm blew up and hail (yes, hail – in June!) knocked it to the ground. Undeterred, they carried on building another nest further up the tree. One can only admire the determination and industry of these tiny little birds!
Last, but not least, the Blackcaps entertained us all week with their presence. Rather than fly away when we approached the corner of the terrace, they simply hopped behind a leaf or onto the next branch. This allowed me to get a few good pictures, including a very interesting series (see pics numbered 9 to 14) where the male parent returned with a berry and offered it to 2 of the 3 chicks, but then gulped it down itself. It was as if the parent was saying, “Take a good look, this is what you should be out there looking for, now get going…!”) Alternatively, or as well, the ‘teenage’ young, were looking suitably grumpy and saying “Not berries for dinner again!”).