In the winter, all the nests become apparent.
Completely hidden in plain sight when the leaves are on, exposed when they come off. These well-made little nests are sewn right on to the branches, feats of micro engineering that stay whole, bowled, and upright in the storms.
The first is in an alder between the greenhouse and the beehive. Well traveled spot. They don’t seem to go to too much trouble to avoid us and our movements.
The next is on a long arm of one of the big regal apple trees right by the farmhouse. Also in the thick of activity. This may have been a robin nest as the robin was acting furtive around the apple trees quite a bit. But it seems so small. Also precarious, but looks are deceiving.
The third I found earlier in the winter when a guinea fowl was snatched in the middle of the day (ending the hens’ good-weather outdoor privileges). There was no sign of foul play, and hopeful she was only lost, I mounted a search, walking in ever wider circles, becoming upset and resigned to the truth.
Thrashing through the brush, I ran into a knee-high nest, a precious little thing built by some grass-nester. Two dead leaves that happened to fall into it curled up in it like they’re at rest.
This is why we can’t get anything done in the spring. If we’re not early enough, there are birds nesting everywhere we want to clear brush or trees.