There has been a lot of bird activity in the garden over the past week and although timings have been adapted by the starlings, they are still coming early in the day, around lunchtime and then again later in the day for their main food. The other afternoon when I was going out with some food to top up the feeders, there were plenty sitting up on my television aerial and so my picture this week is of the starlings queueing for their food. I have not been inside long before they swooped down onto the suet log, the suet balls and the tray of mealworms.
The feral pigeons have been here in quantity with some newer birds joining the group as they have different colour patterns on their wings. I must admit I’ve been slightly annoyed by some of them sitting in my summer containers and either pulling off flowers or chewing the leaves of the plants.
The pair of blackbirds are still coming to the garden and staying quite late into the day, but I’ve still not seen any youngsters. I think they’re nesting in a large evergreen bush in my neighbour’s garden and I heard the other day that a large cat, unknown in the neighbourhood, may have taken a bird out of the bush. I feel sorry for the blackbirds if that is what happened as it’s quite late now for them to have another brood. I’ve seen one robin in the garden who looks a little bit dishevelled, and I couldn’t work out whether it’s a feeding parent or a younger bird moulting and getting its adult plumage. The pair of crows are still coming regularly as well as a couple of jackdaws and the occasional magpie. I think there’s definitely territory concerns going on as my neighbour says she sees more magpies whereas I see the crows and the jackdaws. I have seen the sparrows during the week hopping about in the front garden and even taking some nesting materials into my neighbour’s roof space including pieces of dried and green grass.
There was no sign of an orderly queue at the bird bath saucers the other day when a number of the feral pigeons were bathing and then the starlings were ducking in to have a drink. I think some of the pigeons overstayed their welcome and their fellow birds decided ‘Get out! It’s our turn now’. The saucers need filling at least twice a day currently.
It’s been quite warm during the past week and still essentially dry and I have seen a number of insects on the plants and even one butterfly. I have some teasels and cultivated thistles in one of my borders and they seem to be a magnet for both bees and also some goldfinches. A neighbour a few doors away feeds them niger seed and has a lot of goldfinches, whereas I’ll just see one or two, but then another neighbour also tends to have quite a few of them visiting too. Although I’ve got a variety of feeders with a variety of food and in various different places in the garden, I seem to attract larger birds in the main but hopefully variety of location means they all have chance. The squirrel is burying peanuts and harvesting unripe hazel or cobnuts and although not seen, the hedgehog has been leaving evidence of its visits. Finally, I am still seeing a couple of bats most evenings.
Written by Margaret Emerson