Nuthatch – a very close encounter

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I don’t think St. Frances had quite this much trouble! (Photo credit to my husband.)

Yesterday afternoon, I sat down for a spot of therapy in a busy Sunday. I needed to paint a stone for the Charles Kingsley School art installation commemorating 165 years since they were founded. It’s got a Brimstone butterfly on it, but that’s not the point of this post.

I became distracted when a bird flew in through the open french window. We hastily shut the internal doors and opened all the appropriate windows, hoping it would fly out, but no, it simply battered itself against the windows we couldn’t open and then perched panting on a picture frame.

I fully expected it to be one of the resident baby Blue Tits that clamour in the apple tree for their parents’ attention, but no, it was of all things, a Nuthatch, something we rarely see in the garden let alone in the house!

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Can you see the little ‘pillows’ of pale feathers on the underside of the Nuthatches tail? (Please ignore the cobwebs… I prefer wildlife encounters and ministry to housework!…. Photo credit to the husband again.)

My husband needless to say grabbed the camera, whilst I acted as bird-wrangler in chief.  In the end, after further capers round our dining room, I briefly caught it and steered it out the window, after which it sat panting on the pergola, recovering its equilibrium before flying off. Sadly it lost four feathers in the process but otherwise it seemed none the worse for its adventure.

Needless to say we now have some excellent photos of a Nuthatch that we wouldn’t otherwise have! In the process I noticed something that you don’t normally see when they’re pressed against a tree trunk… they have the most beautiful little pillowly clouds of pale feathers underneath.

Always grateful for these up close encounters with wild animals, even if they’re sometimes a little nerve-racking. Here’s to the next.

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I got the camera eventually, after all the excitement was over! This is the Nuthatch recovering on our pergola, and you can just make out the ‘pillows’ underneath the tail. I wonder if they have a purpose?

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About ramtopsrac

Church of England Priest, child of God, daughter of the New Forest, wife and mother.
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