One of the baby blackbirds from the nest outside our back door takes a rest on the fence after an early attempt at flight. This fledgling is actually from a second brood to be born in the nest. The first brood of three eggs hatched in June, but we were in Italy when they (hopefully) fledged (as opposed to being eaten). When we returned after two weeks away, they were gone and in their place were four more eggs. The baby shown here is one of the second brood. All four hatched and at least two are still hanging around in the garden, getting their wings. The mother still feeds them and spends much of the day chirping alarmingly at the sight of anyone or anything that comes into the area. Early one morning last week, I heard her chirping frantically and looked out the window to see a local cat sitting just below the nest, eyeing the babies hungrily. I chased him off and have been on cat patrol with Charlie’s water cannon ever since. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has lots of interesting information about blackbird nesting habits.