As soon as my back was turned they made a break for freedom. I knew it was imminent. Their cries had become more urgent and there was a lot of pushing and shoving at the escape route. The next time I looked the escapees were randomly scattered around the garden. The parent task was about to get harder.
For several weeks blue tit chicks lived in the safe haven of a nest box. Now on the loose they were in great danger, exposed to predators – magpies, jackdaws, crows, gulls – all on a mission to feed their youngsters; and prowling cats.
The parents knew exactly where each chick had taken refuge. In turn they frantically delivered squishy morsels to ever-gaping beaks. It was exhausting watching. My heart was in my mouth willing them all to survive.
They’ve fledged. The chicks are independent, parents can enjoy a well-earned break, and I can breathe!
Which one will come back next year to raise its young in the nest box where it grew up?