Busy parents

Busy parents

In my blog last week I mentioned that the baby starlings had arrived in the garden and there is still a lot of activity.

It always amuses me with the parent birds as they will be sitting next to an insistent youngster squawking and asking for food and they pick up a piece of food and stuff it in their mouth as much to say, ‘Now have that and be quiet.’ I am seeing at least 18 youngsters in one go some days, but I imagine it is a bigger group with comings and going and they seem to fly in from all directions. With the weather as wet as it has been, I really feel for the youngsters as it must be quite a hard life. The other smaller birds are I think feeding youngsters now, but they’ve yet to arrive in the garden and that includes the blue tits and great tits, the robin, the blackbirds and the various sparrows. The blackbird this morning was on the lawn picking up worms and other food and similarly in the front garden and then flying off with a beak full.

The crow continues to come to the garden at various times and as I’m writing this has just swooped down for some small offcuts of chicken which I have scattered on the grass. The blackbird has been similarly taking some of the meat. A couple of days ago some food had been spilt in the road when some youngsters coming home from school had been boisterous while carrying their fast food meal. Two seagulls and the crow were coming down into the road between the traffic at almost rush-hour, taking some of the food and flying off. They were persistent and I must admit my heart was in my mouth at this time as I didn’t want to say one of them injured.

The robin has been making friends with me in the garden again when I have been working disturbing some soil and also earlier this week when some new turf was being laid and the ground had been disturbed. Last weekend I trimmed the grass back from my path edges and the blackbird had obviously seen some tasty grubs and worms being disturbed as had the robin and both came down to have a feed.

A pair of jackdaws seems to be nesting in my chimney pot again and I’ve generally got two or four of them coming in the garden and I imagine as they are going off with beaks full of food, that they are also feeding some youngsters at the moment. The starlings squabble around and make quite a lot of noise but only to be outdone by the jackdaws when their young arrive. A couple of wood pigeons have still been around in the garden, being some of the last birds to leave in the evening and I feature in my photograph through a rain spattered window, one sitting on the top of my fence, looking a little bit fed up as it was not particularly warm, it was breezy and there had recently been a sharp shower. The feral pigeons are still coming but quantities are generally down, as I think they are being fed elsewhere or the roof has been too exposed in the breeze for them to sit for long.

I’ve seen one or two bees in the garden this past week but I think it’s been too chilly or wet for much insect activity and I haven’t seen any butterflies. I am not sure I remember having the later daffodils still in bloom so late in May. It is usually too warm by now and any remaining tulips and narcissus would then fade quickly.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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