Bird uses body as dam to stop drainpipe soaking chicks
A bird used her body as a dam to stop overflowing drainpipe water from soaking her chicks.
Last Updated: 12:41PM BST 28 May 2009
The female thrush's body is semi-submerged in the water of the gutter as she holds back the flow, protecting the nest and her chicks
The Mistle Thrush had built her nest on top of a downpipe, blocking the water's passage and causing the gutter to flood.
But desperate to protect her young, she puffed herself up to twice her size and sat in the drainpipe to stop the tide of rain water swamping the nest.
She was so occupied with her task that her mate was left to feed her and their young.
The images were captured by amateur wildlife photographer Dennis Bright at a house in Fareham, Hampshire.
Mr Bright said he was astounded by the female bird's behaviour.
"The nest was tucked away from the weather in the shade of the roof but it was so close to the downpipe the gutter flooded when it rained.
"It was only a matter of seconds before the pipe flooded, and water cascaded over the sides."
Mr Bright said he was amazed by the bird's ingenuity.
"She had to come up with a solution so she puffed herself up so she was twice the size of her mate and used her body as a cork to stop the water - it was absolutely amazing.
"She was very dedicated, sitting there even when the rain was hammering down. Then every half an hour she would get out, dry herself off and come back.
"The male was doing most of the work - feeding her and the chicks when she was sitting in the pipe. I feel so lucky to have witnessed something so rare and unique."
Hester Phillips, from the RSPB, said she had never seen such a situation.
"We've heard of them nesting in some unusual sites before, namely on the top of traffic light, but we've certainly not come across anything like this before.
"Birds can be amazingly hardy creatures, their endurance is incredible - especially when protecting their young."
Bird uses body as dam to stop drainpipe soaking chicks - Telegraph