A family of bees in a wild garden

Meet the family

During the week I have seen evidence of a lot of young birds coming with or without their parents. The starling group on some of the cloudy and cooler days has been quite big.
I have certainly seen a large flock of starlings flying around from place to place in the immediate neighbourhood, I would think probably well in excess of 50 birds.

The group that I have coming to my various bird feeders and bird table seems to number about 15 or so.

The two young magpies have been visiting again this week but they don’t seem to be coming along with their parents. I’ve often mentioned one or two crows in the garden and the other day there were four of them, as I saw the two large parent birds and two slightly smaller youngsters. The youngsters seem to have ever open beaks, running around after the parents but I think they were largely independent. The blackbird pair seem to have one youngster who I’ve seen on a few occasions hopping about on the lawn but again that also seems to be independent of the pair of birds now.

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned the sparrows that have been nesting in my neighbour’s roof space and it looks as if either this year or possibly in a previous year, I have had some in the corner of my roof. That might account for the fact that they use my telephone cable and also my side fence as a staging post between one location and another. They don’t seem to be in the roof cavity anymore and it’s only come to light when some masonry can loose on the gable end of the roof. When that is repaired in the coming weeks, I will ask the roofer to leave the small hole as there are more than welcome to roost in the roof if they wish to do so.

The collared doves have been visiting as well and they have generally been either early in the morning or later in the evening. A couple of wood pigeons have also been coming most days and either sitting on the fence in the evening, perhaps coming to one of the feeders, or I see them flying away from a tree when they hear me go out into the garden.

I’m still seeing both the male and female greater spotted woodpeckers mostly on the suet logs so I hope they will be regular visitors now. The other day one was on the dead tree stump and was playing hide and seek almost with the feral pigeons who were landing, but once numbers became too high, it flew off. I haven’t seen any other evidence of youngsters after that one occasion but hope to perhaps in the coming weeks.

On the drier and sunnier days insect activity has been high, with a quantity of honey bees and bumble bees around and occasionally a butterfly, although these are usually the cabbage white. My picture this week is one of a bumble bee on a purple flower in the garden which they seem to like, although I’ve no idea what it is but as it seems to be becoming prolific, I can only imagine it’s a weed! Other wildlife that has been in the garden includes the squirrel coming on occasions to take some of the peanuts and also a young fox. That has been coming out in the garden relatively early in the evening and looking around at the base of the bird table and then disappearing off somewhere.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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