Last year, they decided to have babies just before garden tour day. My helper found the nest under a fern a week before the big day (here a picture of the nest after the babies had flown).
We had to put yellow caution tape out to prevent the 400 visitors from getting too close to the nest, but all went well in the end, I think. At least I did not see dead birds, feathers, or other signs of catastrophy. And furthermore, this year they were back, this time conveniently a month before the garden tour. We first noticed them on the bench (look at the photo above up close). They were also singing proudly on top of the dwarf conifer.
Then we realized they had picked a spot, and it looked as if the baby-birds had hatched. Mom or dad would zoom in on the bench and sit somewhere close for a bit, then look around briefly (is anyone going to disappear in a moment? No, not me). And suddenly they had disappeared.
I'm sorry to say that with the fine collection of natives in the garden, they picked an Agapanthus, which is from South Africa. But I'm often surprised at the houses people like, so I guess birds can also make puzzling choices. Regardless, it was very enjoyable to watch the two parents come to the nest every few minutes in the evening, bringing food for the babies.
After a few weeks, we suddenly realized the garden was very quiet, free of movement. Had anything happened? We had to have a look. First I actually wasn't able to find the nest, it was higher up and further to the right than I had thought. But then I spotted it, and was happy to find, just like last year, that no feathers or dead bird pieces indicated disaster. Of course I'll never know, but I do think that this bird has flown.
BTW, I do know this is a junco though I'm not completely sure whether it's a dark-eye junco or an Oregon junco. Regardless, they were fun to watch!