A successful spring is on the cards for a blackbird with a liking for Christmas Past.
The bird for all seasons has nested in a cast-off artificial Christmas tree in a yard in Whitley Bay.
She is also very much an early bird after starting to build her nest early in March.
By the first week in April three eggs had hatched and the youngsters fledged over three days between April 17-19.
One spent three days aptly perched on the metal plate of an old Singer sewing machine in the yard.
Only days later the bird was back and laid another four eggs, which have now hatched.
The nest is in the yard of the Northumbria School of English, which is run by Christine Goodwin.
She has kept a “family”album of photographs of the blackbirds and their broods.
Christine, who has called the blackbird Betty, said: “I’d had the artificial tree for about 10 years but it had developed a lean and I put it out in the yard in January.
“I was delighted when the blackbird nested and amazed when she laid a second batch of eggs.
“Watching her and getting so close to nature has been absolute magic.
“As the male has joined in feeding the youngsters it has been really interesting seeing how the family works.”
The birds have been an added attraction for students at the language school.
“She has certainly set an example in motherhood,” said Christine.
Tom Cadwallender, Northumberland representative for the British Trust for Ornithology, said: “Because it has been quite mild, birds have got off to a good nesting start.
“For this blackbird to lay a second set of eggs without much of a break is real efficiency and she could go on to have another brood or two.
“Over the previous two hard winters, local birds took a hammering but this case shows how populations can recover given the right conditions.”