Lockdown Diary – Day 55

A strange day, part quite nice, part angst ridden. Slept well again, up at 7.45am. Too early when you have got nowhere to be but better than 5.30am. Unloaded the dishwasher then saw there was murky water in the bottom of it. Oh great! Just what we need, a broken dishwasher. Then I remembered I had turned it off during our family Zoom call as I was doing it from the kitchen and forgot to turn it back on. Never mind, the dishes I had unloaded and put away looked clean enough!

After that I took out some worms for the blue tits, and that’s when the day turned bleak. One adult blue tit, probably the male, appeared but didn’t show any interest in the worms. Instead it sat just outside the box and called and called for about 10 minutes. Seemed like it was calling for its mate to come out, but who knows? Then it flew away. The female never appeared at all. Had she been predated? So spent the day watching the nest box and waiting for the parents to return. But no sign of them, and could not hear them when I went out in the garden. What I could hear was the hungry little blue tits chirping and chirping and chirping in the box. By noon still no sign of mum and dad and it was starting to look like the box had been abandoned.

Meanwhile, I went for a run, my fourth in 7 days! It was quite warm but still had a decent time although the Nike Run app was being weird again so who knows? About 3.30pm Alice and I drove to Bletchingley to have a walk along one of our favourite routes. It was her first time out since the dizziness started on Friday and it did us both good. Everything was so green and beautiful. We saw a wild duck with three ducklings swimming in a little pod, heard a cuckoo and saw two deer in a field. But it was just the change of scenery and the sound of the wind in the trees that made it so nice. In the past we seldom saw anyone on this walk but today we saw half a dozen others plus another half a dozen cyclists.

We got back home to find Alice’s Covid self-test had arrived. It looks very complicated so she will wait until tomorrow to do it. After supper (fishcakes) we sat in the garden, listening to the little blue tits calling for their mum and feeling sad knowing that they would likely die in a day or two without food. We could see their little heads peering out the hole. Just as I tried to take a photo one popped its head out (below). They look nearly ready to fledge but not without the encouragement of their parents.

Suddenly at 8pm a blue tit appeared near the box and eventually went in. It didn’t make any sound. No calling to the chicks, no sound at all as it went in and out a few times. It didn’t really take in any worms and eventually came out and flew off. We were glad that they had not been abandoned though it still seemed very odd, and still no sign of both parents. Maybe they will return tomorrow, or maybe the chicks will just fledge on their own. Fingers crossed. I hate thinking about having to clear out a nest box full of dead chicks. Hope it doesn’t come to that.

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