A fledgling bird (not cheeping plaintively.)
That sort of thing worries me and I naturally wanted to help the little guy, but what to do? The experts’ advice is to do nothing; they say the parents will continue to feed it as long as you don’t touch it. Parent birds don’t like the smell of humans, apparently. (Come to think of it, neither do I particularly.)
So, having warned off a cyclist who was about to ride perilously close to the little creature, I shooed it off onto the verge and walked away in the hope that the parents would do their duty. When I came back to the same spot later it was gone and I carried on walking home.
What do you think I found when I got there? The same little bird sitting in front of my car, cheeping plaintively. But at least it was also pecking something from the ground, so I assumed it had learned how to feed itself even if it couldn’t fly yet. I decided to fetch it some oats and seed from the house so it wouldn’t have to try too hard to find food, but when I returned to the spot it had disappeared. Good; maybe it’s flown away. Nope. It was sitting at the top of my lawn cheeping plaintively!
I fetched more food and a bowl of water; I put them down in front of the little guy; he ignored all three of us (the food, the bowl of water, and me.) And then he hopped away and disappeared under the plants in the garden. I hoped there were no rats or cats about. I couldn’t see any.
You know, wildlife sometimes has a way of making you feel absolutely bloody useless.
* * *
And I watched the kiddies from the Blue Tit’s nest box make their bid for freedom yesterday, something I’ve never seen before. It was one of those ‘Come on, come on, you can do it!’ moments, and I was very proud of them. But later I saw one of the tinies sitting on the path by my shed, and guess what it was doing. Cheeping plaintively. Forget the rest.