Back on March 23rd. I posted some pictures of a pair of collared doves that had built a nest just a few metres from our bedroom window. Now they have two chicks - the one on the right in the picture above has its beak facing towards the viewer, the one on the left is facing away. In the 17 days since the original post there have been three events that could have resulted in disaster for the doves. First a grey squirrel visited the hawthorn tree but didn't find the nest and eggs. Then, a week ago, we had a whole day of heavy snow and high winds. Then today a sparrowhawk perched on the top of the tree and flushed the parent bird. She escaped safely and now she's back on the nest with her chicks. Meanwhile, the local sparrowhawk is still around. We'll be glad when the nestlings have fledged - this is all getting very tense!
(This picture of our local sparrowhawk was taken at the end of December - it's the female, presumably his mate, that shows up in the garden at the moment)