When Our Lass left for work on Friday morning, I noticed a small, thin strip of weathered plastic on the ground between our cars. Being an enthusiastic Womble, I picked it up, put it in the bin and promptly forgot about it.
A few hours later, when I left for a task over in the West Mainland, there was an amount of straw in the same place. Odd, I thought, as I went to open the rear door to load my rucksack. I had cut the front 'lawn' the previous day, including a long overdue haircut of the wildlife triangle, so there had been a fair bit grass strewn about the place. Almost as that thought coalesced in my mind, it was joined by another (I know, TWO in one day!), to the effect that there had been precious little wind during that time, so how had the grass suddenly appeared? Standing back from the car, I realised that the rear wheel arch had a whole bunch of grass stuffed inside it, but couldn't think why this would be so.
Investigating further, the grass contained bits of polythene, plastic twine and even some strands of rope (again plastic). Then, the penny dropped. Since using the car the previous evening, a bird had begun to build a nest on top of the tyre.
To be fair, with the general lack of vertical habitat in our garden, it was probably a decent call on some level, though I couldn't help but feel that the stack of pallets might have been a better bet. With a heavy heart, I removed the construction, put it on the lawn and hoped that the owner would understand (probably not, eh, Tense?) and begin again in a more appropriate place.
As I reversed out of my parking spot, I caught sight of a male Blackbird perched on the pallet stack, looking quizzically at me through a beakful of grass.
Later that evening, Our Lass and I looked forlornly at the sad little pile of grass, and wondered what the pair of Blackbirds would do. The following morning, it was my turn to leave for work first. Although the pile of grass seemed diminished, a quick check of my car revealed no new constructions, so I breathed a brief sigh of relief, before Our Lass discovered that Mr and Mrs B were in the process of moving house to her rear wheel arch. This time, we put the grass on the pallet stack, in an attempt to influence the birds.
This morning, both cars were Blackbird-free, so it looked like they had finally got the message. Whilst washing up the breakfast things, I noticed Mr B fly behind a neighbour's shed and out of sight. Poking out from the far side of the shed, I also noticed the towing coupling of a trailer... so I think that the Blackbirds may have found another 'suitable' wheel arch!