7/26/22, pt4/4 – We’ve had eleven more squabs since Popeye and Olive, and I tell them all about what happened to her as soon as they’re near fledging. Once they leave the garden, it’s all up to them, but I hope her sad tale has helped keep some of them alive longer. I’ll never know, though, will I?

7/23/22, pt 3/3 – We were already rearing Pip and Pop when Popeye and Olive announced they were ready to leave. Popeye heard from a fledgling, who had heard it from another fledgling that there was a large group of young doves hanging out together in the next garden, and I said “that sounds perfect. You might even find some of your brothers and sisters there!”

Wilma is not amused! She never takes a break from her squab-rearing duties in summer, but she's just found out Julie has gone off galavanting around Britain for three weeks instead of posting Wilma's chats with Devoted Dove magazine. Julie has apologized profusely, and will aim to rectify the situation in the coming days. Irked as she is, Wilma magnanimously agreed to let Julie share this photo taken of a wonderful sunset at the family cottage in Wales.

7/13/22, pt 3/3 – Popeye loved to hear old Dove tales and songs passed down from generations, but Olive would get bored and make these little sighing sounds to let you know she’d heard enough. She was ready to fledge long before Popeye was, and my goodness, we had a right game getting him out when the time came. Took two days, if I remember right.

Happy hatching day to the fifth clutch of this season, and squabs number 16 and 17 in this nest. Welcome to the world, Twitty and Kitty (named by 10 year old son).

7/8/22, pt 2/3 – We’d already found a promising fledgling spot for them in nearby bushes. Lots of shade from the heat, good perches to jump on if they needed to move out of reach of the white fanged beast, AND we could keep an eye on them from the nest.

7/5/22, pt 2/3 – Where'd I get to last time? Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm? Ah, yes. Well, Pebbles was the sweetest squab, not a bother in the least, and never greedy for food or space in the nest. Bamm-Bamm, though – ooh, he was a little horror. Always hungry, always banging about, and kept trying to get out of the nest before he was proper fledged.

6/29/22, pt 3/3 – I know it’s supposed to be safer to do nighttime nesting duty, but my goodness, it’s also dull as pond water. No one else has nested nearby since Imogen went, so there’s no one to talk to once the sun goes down. The only birds you hear are the ones you don’t want to hear, and then there’s the howls of the wild fanged beasts. We have a lot of them around here. Makes my feathers crawl to hear them.

6/27/22, pt 1/1 – Salt and Pepper left the nest this morning! Unlike some of our squabs in the past, they were raring to go. The blasted white fanged beast chased them up into the trees though, and we haven't found them yet. They'll soon show up when they're hungry. I always get a bit choked up when my babies leave, but that’s life, isn’t it? It’s my and Fred’s job to prepare them for the world as best as we can, but then the rest’s up to them. I wonder how many of them are still out there?

Having already achieved the same quota of clutches as last year, and Salt and Pepper still almost a week away from fledging, Fred is already cooing his 'Come on Eileen' song to Wilma in earnest. One can't help but admire his dedication to ensuring the survival of his species.

Happy inflation day to Fred and Wilma's two new squabs, Salt and Pepper. Inflation day is when the squabs suddenly become so big, their parents can't hide them anymore. One day there's no sign of them, then the next they are huge – like they inflated over night. Happened on day 8, this time. Salt and Pepper are finally able to enjoy the world around them.

6/20/22, pt 3/3 – They made a pretend giant folk to stand on guard near our nest the whole of last season – just to keep the crows away. I had my doubts at first, but I have to say, we’ve not seen a single crow since that horrible day, and we’re well into our second season now. Wasn’t that clever of them?

Wilma asked Julie to wish Fred a Happy Father's Day. Devoted partner of Wilma, and proud Dad to many progeny, he is the contented master of his garden in Twiglet Drive.

Proof of life – tiny discarded eggshell found on the lawn, yesterday. Not the first time Julie has found one of these.

6/15/22, pt 2/3 – I didn’t see what happened next, as I was too busy flying for my life, but Fred told me later that the giant folk sent that nasty crow packing. From Fred’s perching place, though, he couldn’t see if the crow had managed to get at our clutch, and we spent an agonizing two hours just waiting and watching from a safe distance, in case the blasted creature returned for another attack.

Happy hatching day to the fourth clutch of this season, and squabs number 14 and 15 hatched in this nest. Welcome to the world, Salt and Pepper!

6/9/22 pt 2/3 – I squealed for Fred at the top of my lungs as the crow tried and tried again to get up into our nook – leaping and snapping – but try as he might, he couldn’t reach the nest. A pipe runs along one side of our nook, you see, which makes a perfect ledge for us when we are coming back and forth, but Thank Ariel, it also stopped the crow from being able to get anywhere near the nest.

6/6/22 pt 1/2 – Where was I? Oh, yes. Imogen, bless her, shouted and fluttered at the crow to clear off, but he just hopped along the fence, casual as you like, then lunged at her nest. She had no choice but to fly away, the poor thing, and so I was left to watch with horror as the evil creature grabbed the nest with his beak and tipped it over his shoulder.

Despite being left in a rather precarious spot by their parents where both the white fanged beast AND a local stray cat could find them easily, Parsley and Sage have survived and thrived since leaving the nest, and are now keeping sentry on top of the Cozy (office at bottom of the garden).

6/1/22 pt 3/3 – Then out of nowhere, a dirty great crow landed on the fence between our place and Imogen’s. He’d heard her chatting I think, and decided to see if she had something worth raiding. I froze, hoping against hope that he didn’t know about me, but then he looked over at her, and then turned and looked at me, and he said “well, well, well, what have we here?” in a voice so chilling, my feathers nearly fell out.

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