All day yesterday the back garden rang with the tap-tap-tap of thrush parents murdering the local snail population to satisfy....
....the ravenous hunger of the four fledglings in their nest under the lean-to at the back of the house.
At about nine last night, with the light almost gone, we were alerted to something going on in the back yard by the agitated call of the female thrush. We investigated - to find our neighbour's cat standing under the nest, but all the fledglings gone.
The cat 'discouraged', we set about finding the fledglings, three of which were scattered around the area under the lean-to, one of them wedged in amongst the garden implements. Afraid to leave them because the cat would almost certainly return, we carried those we'd found up into the vegetable garden, where their mother was beside herself with anxiety.
Two of the three managed to fly off, in an uncontrolled way, crashing into the ground about ten metres away. The third sat, absolutely still, in one of the vegetable beds.
We checked that the nest was empty, and did a final, unsuccessful search for the fourth fledgling, before leaving them to whatever fate would bring.
There was no sign of them in the back garden today, nor any sign of the parents.