As usual, when we arrived at our campsite we drove onto our assigned pitch and had in-depth discussions as to where precisely to site Guillaume. We’ve been here on this pitch so many times sthat we know pretty much where we want him but the discussions have to be had. I nudged him forward, facing the lake, and checked how level he was side to side. Not bad, he needed just one wooden block under a wheel to bring him to level. Brakes on, wheels chocked (he’s pointing downhill), corner steadies down and we were here.
I didn’t notice disturbing anything in the business of setting up – connecting the waste, connecting a water supply, etc. – but this morning, as I was topping up the water and rummaging around in Guillaume’s nose locker for Darwin-knows-what, I heard a frenetic flutter from one of the bushes beside our pitch. I peered into the bush and just about at eye level noticed a small bird’s nest. Nobody was home.
After finishing a few chores I returned to peer at the bird’s nest again and was delighted to see a small bird hunker down into it. Guillaume had a neighbour about 5ft/1.5m away from his nose but getting a decent look at the bird to try to identify it was very difficult. More than anything else, having pitched right next to its chosen home, we were very keen to disturb it as little as possible. I’d feel terrible if we caused a bird to abandon a nest and clutch of eggs. It seemed reasonably tolerant in that you had to get really close to cause the poor thing to flee but we determined to give it as wide a berth as possible.
After several failed attempts, I managed to get a decent lie up with a long telephoto while mum was sitting on the nest. I had thought perhaps Spotted Flycatcher but once a recognisable photo was to hand it clearly wasn’t flecked enough. My next thought was a warbler of some kind, say a ChiffChaff or Willow Warbler but they have greenish heads and eye stripes. Nah! Our culprit had a russet brown cap. Ah, female Blackcaps have a brown cap, perverse creatures that they are. Guillaume’s neighbour was a nesting Blackcap. Sometimes hubby took over egg-sitting and, with a distinctly black cap, was much more readily recognisable. [The bird in the picture, by the way, is panting, not singing – temperatures were hitting 33°C/91°F today.]
Still no camping neighbours for Guillaume, which suits us, though it isn’t so hot for Luc and Nadine.