The birds and the strong winds

The birds and the strong winds

The past week has brought stormy weather too much of the country at one time or another and here in Kent we had a very windy day last Friday and again Sunday evening and early on Monday morning.
Fortunately, I haven’t suffered any damage to the house or garden apart from a few twigs down from a couple of small trees. The birds of course had challenging conditions to land in and feed and so their routine was slightly changed. It was noticeable during the strongest winds that the smaller birds tended to keep away and those who were inside the big conifer at the bottom of my garden, flew out of it when it started to blow about violently in the wind on Friday. The feral pigeons decided that the sheltered side of the roof, which fortunately for them faces into my back garden, was the best place to stay huddled together and sheltered as much as possible.

The birds had some difficulty getting down onto the lawn and tended to avoid the feeders or the bird table when the wind was at its strongest. The wind eased later in the day on Friday and then most of the normal birds appeared again for their afternoon feed. The suet square which hangs in my cobnut had blown down, but the starlings were not to be thwarted and were pecking it eagerly down on the ground. I was pleased to see on Saturday and Sunday that the regular birds were still coming, as my cousin had commented to me about what do birds do when the wind is very strong? They don’t have particularly big legs and only little feet, so how do I hold on in the trees and wherever they are roosting? It’s a good question to which I didn’t really have an answer other than the fact that they must be used to it. They certainly adapt their flying and tend to always face into the wind when they are sitting for example on my roof.

The two crows are coming regularly as I’ve mentioned in recent blogs and now turn up each time they see me putting out food, so early in the morning, around lunchtime and then late afternoon. I have seen them waiting on the neighbouring roof, watching for the chance of a snack. I’m see a magpie most days and the other day when it was strutting down the path, with the wind blowing from behind, it looked as if it was wearing a tutu as all its feathers were being ruffled by the wind. I’ve seen a coal tit, blue tits and great tits coming to the suet square, when its hanging in the tree, and the blackbirds and robins hopping about for either mealworms or the soft bill food. There also seem to be more sparrows around too.

The squirrels are still coming for the peanuts but I think eating more now than they are running off with. They also disappeared for a while during the very windy weather. A couple of days this week have been quite bright with the sun of course gaining in strength and so the heat from it is noticeable. I’ve not been aware of any insects but there are now some sources of pollen for them, so I imagine some bees will soon be stirring and my picture is of one clump of daffodils, which are just starting to come into bloom. The garden and the countryside certainly seems to have moved on in the past week even if they have been buffeted by strong winds.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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