life, Parenting

Life Lessons from… Birdwatching

I’ve taken on the role of Bill Oddie.

My life has been utterly consumed by bird watching over the past 48hrs as I’ve been witnessing the unfolding drama of our resident Blackbird family. They’ve been nesting in our huge conifers for a while and it’s as tense as a bloody psychological thriller when watching the close calls and near misses these birds are experiencing. My husband is now used to seeing the back of my head as it’s permanently facing the window. To his delight, he’s also been getting regular bird update bulletins from my never-ending narration.
I’ve even phoned him to offload the latest bird story whilst he’s at work. I don’t think he was impressed. I’m confident in saying that he wouldn’t be surprised to come home and see me dressed like this…

I feel I’ve learnt 3 things from The Blackbirds and their recent misfortunes, and feel these important findings can provide valuable lessons for us humans.

1) Build a sturdy nest – it’s a beautiful nest guys, bravo. A true work of art that you’ve clearly spent days on. However, two major flaws; the foundations are piss poor – rotting away and very damp, and the location of the build was even worse! Not only was it built in easy reach of deadly predators (the persistence of my neighbour’s cats are working my last nerve), it’s fucking fallen out the tree twice!

Lesson – build good foundations in your life and locate yourself in a secure, supportive network of friends and family.

2) Build a nest big enough to house your offspring – I get it, once your children grow up, you expect them to move on. But it seems your little fledglings have taken on the role of many grown adults who still live with their parents. Unlike the lucky sods snuggled up in a brick house, watching Ant & Decs Saturday Night Takeaway with their ever proud, ever funding Mum and Dad; your nest simply isn’t roomy enough to fit you and your babies all in! Either make a larger *nest or have less babies guys, simple.

(That’s the lesson for us too, just replace *nest with *house)

3) Learn to fly before you leave the nest – this is pretty damn obvious for personal safety reasons. However, I have come to learn that Blackbirds leave the nest a few days before they can fly. I know this from my recent google searches, visiting various bird forums and by reading the RSPB website which is what I’m doing with my time when I’m not actively spying on them. This simply leaves the fledglings flapping around on the floor trying to escape danger (and also trying to get their parents attention for food). Bloody idiots or massive daredevils, you decide.

Lesson – make sure you know the basics before committing yourself. This goes for life in general – leaving home, choosing a career etc… as well as the smaller decisions like agreeing to go on a date with someone and then realising you’re actually trapped sitting opposite a massive dickhead (mine and my husbands first date… Lols)

So I’d like to thank the blackbirds for opening my eyes even though your struggles are wrenching at my heart somewhat. I’m trying my best to let nature take its course and simply observe the series of events. I have chased off multiple cats, rescued a little bird from my barking dogs and put the nest back in the tree (twice). And by the sound of the experts, that’s all I can do. Fingers crossed everyone survives!!!

Right, back to bird watching.

Love, Holly Oddie xx

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