Last night did another mid shift run - 4 miles including a long stretch along the cycle path by a quiet London Road Lake - the Grebes were out but the Greylags had decided they didn't find Newark salubrious enough and have scarpered.
Swifts were out too, and Swallows and Martins - the riverside was thick with midges and I'm sure I ate as many of the damn things as the birds did. But the real action was in my (laughable) what-I-call-a-garden-but-is-actually-a-drive.
As I arrived home, panting, I heard the familiar sharp 'chucking' of a blackbird being hacked off by a cat. I remember it well from when our demon of a cat a few years ago, so cuddly in other ways, used to skewer thrush and blackbird chicks no matter how many times he was scolded for it.
Luckily my mother's current cat is a boss eyed sort of Maine Coon who lives indoors and can't catch a ping pong ball shoved under its nose. But I digress...
Sure enough there was a cat, a rather dirty white tortie, sitting there being ripped into by mummy and daddy blackbird in a sycamore tree; the sole chick (one from five seems to be about the mean survival rate of these things) was sat in a higher branch. Figuring for all the din they were making they needed a hand, I joined in (what A HERO!) and Mrs Cat slinked off.
But not before every other bird in the garden joined in for a quick look and a taunt! A Great Tit dropped by, inquisitive. A sort of spotted looking Dunnocky thing which in my usual idiot overestimations I decided at first glance was a spotted flycatcher (LOL) but was more probably a palish Dunnock, and most attractive of all a couple of Robins, one of which was missing a tail - another immature adult?
The Robins are friendly, fun to watch, and infinitely better for you than flogging dead legs around a midge filled dirty grey dusk. And I'm sure they hate the guts of cats too.