December 2, 2010 at 10:00 am 15 comments

”Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled.
The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season’s last crops”
– Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis

I like the secrets that are revealed when leaves fall from the trees.  I’m not much of a twitcher so don’t recognise all the different harmonies of the birdsong choir down at the allotment.  I wonder who created this cosy nest?  It had fallen from higher up the Elderflower tree but was caught on the end of this branch when I found it.  Amazing to see up close the intricacy with which it had been built.
Last Autumn I discovered this nest in the bough of a tree while carrying out some maintenance on the perimeter fence.   I wondered if it had been concealed there for some time but there were clues in the materials woven into the nest: plastic pea netting and the gazebo covering which had provided a temporary roof for my vandalised shed in 2008 before the wind and the rain ravaged it.
The nest below is safely tucked away within the branches of the hawthorn tree and I only noticed it last month while picking berries and after half the leaves had dropped to the ground.  No danger of predators for this nests occupants!
Sadly not true for all birds.  
You can imagine my surprise last year while forking up my potatoes when I came across this egg half hidden in the soil.

After scratching our heads and asking around it was identified as a pigeon egg, probably stolen from a nest by a Crow or a Magpie.  The thief must have dropped it while flying overhead and not been able to locate it on the ground through all the potato foliage.

What unsual discoveries have you made in your garden?

Entry filed under: allotment tales.

autumn gardening haws, hips and sloes = ketchup, syrup and gin!

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Denise Nesbitt  |  December 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Our garden is under 3′ of snow right now – goodness knows what is going on under the snow!!!! But………..come the great thaw (not expected for a while) we just may discover some gems eh?

  • 2. Ann  |  December 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    We’ve discovered eggs buried in the garden too and wondered if it was a fox burying them but where it gots the eggs from I can’t imagine. The birds nest pictures are great!

  • 3. Mark Willis  |  December 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I bet you thought at first that that egg was a turtle egg!

  • 4. Stephanie M at Together In Food  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Shards of mosaic tile from who knows where, and once, a face-down dead owl.

  • 5. Rufus  |  December 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

    First nest, at top of picture in middle,
    is that a chick, left behind, with its mouth open
    hoping to be fed?
    poor thing

  • 6. Fiona Mayhem  |  December 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

    The oddest thing that I ever found was a crab. A very dead one, but it was under a load of bags. Our gardens are entirely surrounded by houses with no way in or out from the ‘real world’. I can only imagine that it was dropped by a bird, but it must have been alive when dropped, because the only way he could have got where we found him was to crawl.

    Made more interesting because I live about 15 miles from the sea.

  • 7. reapwhatyougrow  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Amazing that nothing else got to it first! Are you tempted to eat it (joke!)?

    Nice to see you still outdoors even in the extreme weather we have had.

  • 8. Hazel  |  December 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    A dead and mummified cat in the woodshed.

  • 9. BitterSweet  |  December 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Oh wow, how precious! The most interesting discovery I’ve made in my backyard was an a set of wind chimes made out of mother of pearl- They were so old, the tree bark had actually grown over it.

  • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  December 6, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Denise – 3′? I think you must have had our quota, barely an inch by comparison. Great photo opp though and you captured some beautiful shots. Something quite calming about the black horses against the white snow covered fields

    Ann – thanks for the compliment Ann. Dropped lunch is often the most likely explanation for finding things in unusual places!

    Mark – I might have if I knew what a turtle egg looked like {wink}

    Stephanie – poor owl and poor you for finding him

    Rufus – no chicks just the light catching a twig. The birds had long gone when I found the nest

    Fiona – I bet it put up quite a struggle then and perhaps the bird was glad to let it go!

    Moy – it was rather fascinating and was kept in Pat’s shed until it started to smell. The shell was translucent and you could see the liquid inside so a bit icky at the same time!

    Hazel – ewwwwww, that would give me nightmares!

    Hannah – did they still chime? hung with love I should think to have lasted so long

  • 11. Simon  |  December 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I Like the photos. Over the years I have found lots of different eggs on the vegetable plot but all of them had several holes in so I guess it wasn’t from the bird hatching.

    • 12. Nip it in the bud  |  December 11, 2010 at 3:25 am

      something trying to get to what was inside? our egg was liquidy so obviously pinched from the nest before it even had a chance to develop

  • 13. Bilbo  |  December 18, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I found a tiny nest in a bird box which blew down in the autumn. The workmanship was quite exquisite, it was a beautiful thing.

  • 14. DavidT  |  February 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I have found loads of stuff, from a bullet casing to an old iron ring from the victorian era (not one for a finger but about 5 inches accross!)

  • 15. Nip it in the bud  |  February 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Bilbo – nature’s builders, quite breathtaking :o)

    David – intriguing to think about who else has lived in your house and lazed (or worked) in your garden. Thanks for sharing x


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6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
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