As I write I am watching a pair of great tits feeding their young in the nest box that the builder who owns the yard next door has thoughtfully put up for them. The only problem is the location. The nest box is on a pole so sits some three feet above the fence. This is great when the chicks are in the nest box as the cats can’t possibly get them.
Fledging though is another matter. There are no trees nearby or bushes for them to flutter onto. At best they might make a crash landing onto the fence. At worse they plummet to the ground, where this time the advantage is with the cats.
This is the second year I have witnessed this drama.
At the moment the adults are busy feeding the young, making trips every two to three minutes to the nest box, beaks crammed with insects. The cats are sunning themselves. They can wait. They have time on their side.
I must point out that I have not seen the denouement. I have not witnessed the failed fledging. Sometime soon the parents will no longer make the journey so I assume that the chicks will have tried to fledge. Perhaps some of them succeed. The nest box has been in use of over five years apparently.
One can only hope. Meanwhile I can still enjoy the comings and goings, the dedication, the boundless optimism that keeps the parents going.