May 31, 2010

Story - Watching a Blue Tit fledge

Watching a Blue Tit Family Fledge (Kathy Hartnett)
My nicest 'sighting' in Wanstead Park was seeing a blue tit baby fledge! The family's nest was situated in a hole in the lower corner of an old bricked-window on The Temple building. Whilst in the Park yesterday, two volunteers at The Temple (George and Sue) beckoned me over, as they had been watching the beginnings of the family fledging. They had actually already seen five of the baby birds fledge (one of whom had fleetingly landed on George's arm), and I was just in time to see 'number six' (the final fledgeling).

The baby bird had emerged from the nest hole, and was now balanced precariously on the window ledge. He was calling out for Mum and Dad, but they and the rest of the family were nowhere to be seen.

After a while, the baby bird started to climb up the wall, heading for the roof of the building. It took him several minutes to inch his way up, and at one time he slipped back down a bit, making us all catch our breath.

However, he eventually made his way near to the top of the wall, and then began to realise that he could actually fly, and hapharzadly flew his way, via a little detour, up onto the roof. It was remarkable to watch this tiny baby bird taking his first steps in the world - climbing what must have seemed like Mount Everest - and then taking his first flight.

I've never seen a 'fledge' take place before, so I felt quite privileged. (KH)

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