Saturday, 9 November 2013

Another level

Ever get the feeling you're being watched? At last some decent weather here and this morning I've been up a ladder working on the hedge between us and the road.
Quite a long way up a ladder. Because we're on a hillside it takes the the ladder legs at full extension to get to grips with the top of the hedge and the legs have to be standing on a raised hedge bank.
So, I'm almost at jackdaw level; looking back towards the house I'm about where the gutter is. And as I've been working away with saw and secateurs I've been able to watch jackdaws coming and going.
They're are always around, or seem to be - on our chimney, our nextdoor neighbour's chimney or on the chimneys of one of the houses across the road.
This year they started to build a nest in our chimney, but I spotted one of the birds coming and going with sticks and got the chimney sweep in to put a new mesh cover on the chimney pot. When the chimney was swept enough sticks came out to fill a carrier bag.
There seems to be a lot going on in the jackdaw community just now. They're spending a lot of time on and around the chimneys that were used as nesting sites this year and 'speaking' to one another all the while.
One of these 'conversations' got very heated this morning and the two birds ended up fighting. Locked together in a pecking match the combatants fell together off the chimney and slid down the roof slates, still fighting.
It was only when they reached the gutter that they broke off from the fight. One of the two flew away, while the other sat for a moment looking a little shaken up.
Breeding pairs are the bedrock of jackdaw society. They pair up and, if all goes well, stay paired for life. This year's  youngsters should be establishing these pair bonds around now, which is probably what all the jackdaw chat in our street is about today.

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