You never know what you might see in your garden if you are paying attention! Yesterday I lost a big branch from the normally well-behaved Bradford pear in my front garden and I went out to cut the pieces that were keeping it hung up in my privet hedge. Luckily it is a privet hedge because although quite a bit was broken and had to be cut out we all know it will return and be better for the pruning anyway. It also took out a chunk of a large pittosporum which will likewise be fine. I feel really fortunate that nothing less sturdy was damaged...the branch that fell was over 25 feet long, the main part was over 6 inches in diameter, and there were 7 smaller branches about 10 feet long each attached to that main piece. The hedge took the brunt of the fall and protected all the smaller plants below.
As I was cutting it out of the hedge I could hear what I thought was a bushtit chirping away. I've only see them traveling in a flock so thought it must be something else. Whatever it was I worried that there had been a nest that had come down with the branch since the bird was so noisy.
Today I went out to continue cleanup, cutting the broken privet and pittosporum branches and beginning to cut 18 inch pieces from the main trunk to save for firewood. I could hear the same bird and finally investigated more closely. And found that there was indeed a nest! True confession time...this is a city tree and I really need to call and have them work on it because it is covered in mistletoe. So don't wonder why those leaves don't look like pear leaves...mostly you see the mistletoe. I have to wonder why they chose the spot that they did...it is only about 12 feet up and over the sidewalk...one would think they would have chosen a quieter spot. Someone was looking out for them though because had the nest been on the other side of the tree it would be history now.
I have a crick in my neck from looking up for over half an hour watching the parents deliver insects to the unseen babies. I imagine all the chatter goes something like "Can you believe that happened? Do you know how how lucky we are?" And they're right!