The weather in Kent became warmer and warmer last week culminating in a hot day on Friday but by Saturday it was somewhat cooler again. It was noticeable that the birds came early in the morning then largely disappeared before returning form late afternoon and into the evening for food. It has only been slowly warming up again this week with some chilly mornings, but I think the birds have now moved onto a summer feeding routine and they will come in large numbers of all types of bird including the starlings, feral pigeons and so forth early on and will then be eating less food during the day but coming late afternoon and during the evening. That is not to say that a lunchtime top-up of food is not provided and I have been keeping a close eye on the bird bath saucers.There have been plenty of birds in the garden though at their feeding time and I have seen a robin hopping about again, the pair of blackbirds with the male bird singing cheerily in the trees in the evening, a pair of collared doves, at least one pair of woodpigeons and some of the sparrows and dunnocks.
The pair of crows also come early in the day and later and some of the jackdaws who seem to like the suet balls. The adolescent starlings have certainly grown up in the last few weeks or two and are quite happily taking food for themselves now, either the suet feeders or increasingly from the peanuts. That doesn't mean to say that the squirrel isn't also helping itself to peanuts and it has been burying some of them in my summer containers. To some extent when ordering bird food I have to first guess the requirements, as suet squares were going at the rate of two or three per day and it's now down to one or two per day. In the warmer weather they don't need the suet as much I suppose and also on the warmer days it becomes very soft. Suet balls seem to be more popular and as I've mentioned the peanuts. With the longest hours of daylight this week, the birds are certainly staying much later but it is noticeable that most of the feral pigeons will have disappeared at least an hour before sunset, as they do all year so I assume they have way to go to their roost.
For the last couple of evenings, I have seen some bats flying about in the garden and my neighbour’s garden half an hour or so after sunset. I see these from my French windows as I'm drawing my curtains probably almost on 10 o'clock. I don't see them very often and they only seem to fly around for a short time before disappearing off. I assume that when they come out of their daytime roost they stretch their wings for a while and feed on some insects and then go off to do whatever bats do.
I've also seen a young fox during the week and it was wandering about in the garden during the day and so my picture this week is of the cub taking some scraps from under the bird feeders. I don’t actually feed them. The cub didn't seem to be worried by me being in the window and grabbing a photograph as normally an adult fox would soon run off seeing any movement. Bees have been busy on my plants again so all in all, it has been a wildlife filled week.
Written by Margaret Emerson