Two years ago a wood pigeon built a nest in my holly tree. Then we watched as the chick hatched, grew and fledged protecting it daily from an onslaught of predators including local foxes. At its first brave attempt to spread its wings it landed in the most dangerous corner of the garden vulnerable to an assortment of local cats. We put it back in the nest where it briefly rested before flying up into a neighbouring tree still being fed by its mother, then onto a nearby roof where it sat for several hours and then finally out into the world.
This April a wood pigeon built a new nest in the same tree. Was it the fledging returning to a familiar safe nesting site? I watched fascinated as she sat so patiently hour after hour for over two weeks turning the egg, moving position then her mate would take over. Then last Thursday night she didn’t come back. That wasn’t so strange as pigeons leave the nest from time to time. But Friday morning there was still no sign of her and after another two days I knew something had happened. I got a ladder and without disturbing the nest managed to see inside. The egg had gone.
There had been a lot of magpies around and we wonder if they had taken the egg. The chick must have been close to hatching and I felt so sad for this patient creature who had waited and protected her egg for so long.
Only a wood pigeon someone said. They need culling anyway. I didn’t see it that way.