Woops. The soft-hearted should look away now.
It was the only one I actually found – and it still didn’t have proper feathers. I gave it a decent burial during which I paid my respects.
Pause for gloom and disappointment.
By coincidence I am partway through Miriam Rothschild’s wonderful book about bird parasites (I coped fairly well with the fleas and lice, but weakened when I reached the flukes, leeches and worms). She talks about the burden of parasites which birds carry and which in some cases makes the difference between survival and death.
In honour of the interest which she has aroused, I shook the nest out onto some paper. I snapped one thingummy about ?6 mm long as it crawled off the edge of the paper.
Other inhabitants which were seeable were these maggotty things between 5 and 7mm long, and that looks a bit like empty pupa cases too, perhaps?
There were a significant number of these, but not being Miriam Rothschild I did not attempt to make a census.
I also saw one small black thingummy about 2 or 3 mm long.
It was interesting; but it would take more than Miriam to persuade me to examine the corpse.