Just like their makers, nests come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re made of all sorts of materials: twigs and branches, feathers, moss, paper and plastic, mud. They can be seen high in trees and on buildings, hidden secretively away in hedges and behind reeds, or plonked in a hole in a concrete platoon, as I saw some Coots do recently in Cardiff. Some are messy and loosely constructed, others are cosy and snug, still others are miniature works of art.
This is prime bird-nesting season so it’s quite likely you’ll see nests when you’re out walking. Please stay well away and do not disturb parents, eggs or babies. In Britain (and I’m sure in most countries) it is, in fact, an offence under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to ‘intentionally take, damage, destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built’ and to ‘intentionally take or destroy the egg of any wild bird’. (You can read more details here.) And, rest assured, my photos were all taken with a long lens, well away from the birds, so as not to disturb them.