Albeit originally dry, today’s bright start, beset by grey sheep’s wool skies and drizzling rain, descended into cooler dankness.

My morning session devoted to WordPress comments was extended by the distraction from shaking branches of a crab apple tree in which the cumbersome barrage balloon of a nest-building wood pigeon thumped into the boughs clutching a selection of tightrope walkers’ balancing poles before diving into the foliage, emerging empty beaked and blundering off for a refill.

You may care to bigify these images by clicking on any one to access the gallery in order to discern the size of the nest twigs.

Jackie, meanwhile, having inadvertently discovered a robin’s nest while tidying up some boxes a couple of days ago

took a chance on quickly snapping the babies today. Since the earlier discovery, the parents have continued to carry in food through the gap beside the rusty iron bar.

This afternoon I read a little more of Nicholas Nickleby, enabling me to scan four more of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to Charles Dickens’s novel.

‘Mr Snawley tucked the poor fellow’s head under his arm in a most uncouth and awkward embrace’

‘Within ‘the rules’ ‘ illustrates life in the Liberties of The King’s Bench Prison – an area covering three square miles around the prison where those inmates who could afford it could purchase the liberty to live there. (Wikipedia)

‘Arthur Gride sat in a low chair looking up into the face of Ralph Nickleby’ reminds me of a tax inspector I once knew who always sat his interviewees in a lower chair to establish his power. I explained that I did the opposite for the opposite reason.

‘Nicholas found himself poring with the utmost interest over a large play-bill’

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken and tasty parsnips; creamy mashed potatoes; crisp Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots; tender greens, and flavoursome gravy with which Jackie finished the Sauvignon Blanc and I started on the Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017.


  1. Every year we have a couple of birds (breed unknown) that arrive each year and build a nest in the same bush outside our kitchen, but I never hear any chirping. I’m glad to see you had some chicks.

  2. What lovely shots of the fastidious wood pigeon, and the wonderful fluffy chicks – a great distraction to your WP morning!
    Interesting to read about the psychology of seating arrangements – poor Arthur Gride does, indeed, look very humble. I think I may remain standing if ever offered a lower chair in a meeting..! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. We have had a poor return on several nests in the garden this year but the starlings in our neighbour’s holly tree are making up for it

  4. We have a lot of nesting going on too, Derrick. Yesterday, there were two large eggs in a nest on the ground…today there are three. We don’t know who they belong to, but the eggs are too big for a duck.

  5. Aww lovely the chicks are.
    I’ve been busy moving into my new place.
    I’m settled in now and ready to visit your posts to see your lovely photos of nature adventure

  6. I worry (probably more than necessary) about where birds build nests. We have a couple of wrens building a narrow nest next to our window air conditioner outside Mama Cat’s room. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out. We’ll see.

  7. I enjoyed your photos of the wood pigeon and the robin’s nest–the rewards of a careful observer.

  8. I love seeing birds and chicks in their nests. The robins are growing rapidly — hopefully there will be pigeons too!

  9. This has got to be the third generation of Nuggets you have in the garden. Unlike the wood pigeonโ€™s, robinโ€™s nest was a secretive abode. Jackie must be looking forward to an exciting company ahead.

  10. Your apt description of “the cumbersome barrage balloon of a nest-building wood pigeon thumped into the boughs clutching a selection of tightrope walkersโ€™ balancing poles before diving into the foliage,” immediately brought to mind Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem, ‘Constantly risking absurdity’ which begins:
    Constantly risking absurdity
    and death
    whenever he performs
    above the heads
    of his audience
    the poet like an acrobat
    climbs on rime
    to a high wire of his own making
    and balancing on eyebeams
    above a sea of faces …

  11. YAY for the busy parents! YAY for the baby birds…and AW! ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad to see some of Nugget’s family back! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS…we think our bunny (Reg) is back again! Saw him/her twice already in the back property exactly where he/she lived last summer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. The pesky pigeons are constant visitors to my garden.

    Yesterday we had Christmas dinner with my grandchildren in the garden in the sunshine. Molly called it Australian Christmas dinner.

  13. You were having fun with alliteration. ? How cool to watch the nest building, and then for Jackie to find the baby robins in a nest!
    My older child has a family of raccoons in their shed. I think I’d prefer robins.
    I wonder if Keeping recreated an actual playbill in that last illustration.

  14. How I love your nesting post and photos and your beautiful words to describe the setting. I also like the word โ€œbigifyโ€ and if itโ€™s not a real word it should be! We have also discovered an amazing nest below our upper back deck up on the rafter and itโ€™s construction is more beautiful than any building weโ€™ve ever seen.

  15. One more comment/question: Before Dickens, did anyone chart the ups and downs of the life of a child to a young adult? Can’t think of many equivalents to David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, and Great Expectations. Jane Eyre? Not common, I think, but correct me if I’m wrong.

        1. Thanks very much, Laurie. You are more patient with your research than I am. Actually I am kicking myself a bit since I have read most of the earlier works quoted in your link – especially Tom Jones, Candide, and Tristram Shandy all too long ago ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. The baby robins are adorable! I hope these little ones continue to thrive and fledge. Perhaps they will stay and become part of the tapestry of life you and Jackie have woven into your beautiful gardens! <3

  17. I like your and Jackie’s portrayal of the busy nest-building and baby-rearing avian activities. Of the current set of illustrations, I found the last one the most interesting, where “the utmost interest” is expressed by the back and the tilt of the character’s head.

  18. The Pigeon emerging empty beaked and blundering off for a refill, I loved your descriptions here, how they made me smile.

    Oh, Jackie, your photo of the Robin babies is a gem. We’re the boxes outdoors?

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