It seems appropriate to mention eggs at Easter... Not the Smarties egg I got this morning, but some equally close to home. I'm not the world's best nest finder, but even a quick afternoon walk found a Blackbird on one egg and a sitting Woodpigeon to join the two thrushes found last week. I'd hoped we could follow these thrush nests through the season, but sadly one has already been predated - a Song Thrush in fields beside the house. This was in a long Hawthorn hedge, and the key to finding the nest was to find the only bit of Ivy within the hedge.
The female was sat on four eggs a couple of days ago, but as I went to take some habitat photos this afternoon I noticed she wasn't sitting, and found the nest was empty. Note how this nest has only a simple mud lining, which is typical of Song Thrush - Blackbirds have a much grassier lining in their nests.
Our garden Blackbird will hopefully fare better, and is currently also sitting on four eggs. This is in a far more sensible location, tucked in the side of a thick and rather spikey conifer.
Recording the progress and fate of nests is an important monitoring tool, and the BTO's Nest Record Scheme has been doing just that for decades. Nest recording really can be as simple as keeping half an eye on the birds in your garden, so do think about getting involved. Get in touch via the web for more details on getting involved.