Adapting to the weather

I'm sure the plants as well as the birds, insects and other wildlife have been pleased with the weather during the past week. The birds certainly adapt to the weather which on a couple of days was very warm and sunny, but was then followed by some welcome rain overnight and first thing this morning. On the very hot days the feral pigeons and jackdaws tend not to sit on the sunny side of my roof during the heat of the day, as it faces southeast, but go over the other side and will appear over the top when they somehow know that I've gone outside with food. I'm sure they have a periscope and a look out to keep an eye on me. 

A blackbird and also a couple of the pigeons were sitting on the lawn with their wings outstretched which I suppose is their equivalent of us wearing lighter clothes to cool down. Needless to say the bird bath saucers have been used aplenty this past week, both I guess because they haven't been sources of water available such as puddles and also because bathing has been required. Some days I was having to fill the saucers three times. I think that for most, including me as a gardener, the rain that has fallen in the last 24 hours is very welcome and will certainly freshen things up. This morning starlings and other birds were on the local grass play area near me pecking away for the insects and bugs that will have come up to the surface. At least they won't bend their beaks pecking rock hard ground. 

In my last blog I told the story of the pair of goldfinches and their one youngster. Sadly, the youngster is no more as on Friday when it was rather blustery, it flew into one of my conservatory windows. It must have killed itself instantly, but I was quite sad when I saw it and buried it in the garden. It was just starting to get its coloured plumage. Since then I've only seen one of the adult birds but I hope the pair is still together and that they will be able to raise another brood this summer. 

There has been the usual selection of birds during the past week, at least one crow at a time, two jackdaws, three woodpigeons, two collared doves, the usual group of starlings and feral pigeons, the occasional blue tit or great tit, a robin and sparrows. I don't know if the sparrows have some youngsters in my neighbour’s roof space now, but one of the adult birds has been sitting on several occasions either in a bush or on the fence between my house and the neighbour’s singing a lot. I wondered whether it was trying to either attract the youngsters back, although I've not seen any, or is trying to persuade them to come out of the nest and have a go at flying. My picture this week is of a sparrow sitting on my roof having just flown across from the holly bush. They're certainly more active at the moment and all the birds except the feral pigeons, seem to be coming for food, going off and returning so I think that's all a sign that there are youngsters around. 

I have seen a couple of small blue butterflies in recent days and also bees of course of various types on the flowers in the garden. One or occasionally two squirrels are coming, almost throughout the day again now, to take peanuts. They run off with them and return again, so I assume that they must now have some youngsters round and about.

 Written by Margaret Emerson

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