The weather in Kent over the last few days has been much warmer than of late and for the last day or so temperatures have been into the high 20's Celsius, or into the 80's in Fahrenheit. The birds have adapted their activity to suit with plenty of feeder activity in the first part of the morning and again after about 5 pm, but in between times the numbers are significantly lower. There are a few hardy souls, particularly the feral pigeons, who still seem to like to sit up on the roof. Numbers are generally less in the middle part of the day, as my back roof faces east and I think there must be a scout bird, because as soon as they see me go outside several of them scurry over the top of the roof.
Feeding activity despite the warmer weather has been high and I have of course made sure that I'm keeping the bird bath saucers replenished with water. Some of the suet tends to go a little soft in the warmer weather, which is I think adding to the consumption, particularly of the suet squares, which are still very popular with the starlings but also the jackdaws, who now have at least two youngsters. The starlings are still coming in a big group and while sitting in the garden the other afternoon, I counted at least 30 sitting in the top of a large conifer and as I think some of them had gone into the tree, there will probably considerably more. My picture is of a group who sat in my clipped yew tree and were sunbathing. These were mainly adult birds but joined by a few youngsters.
Talking of big groups, I remember when I was growing up that on ITV programme called Magpie which I think was the ITV equivalent of BBC's Blue Peter. The theme tune concerned magpie's and one of lines was ‘seven for a secret never to be told’ if you see seven magpies. Well, I did just that the other evening as there were seven of them sitting on a neighbour's roof. I generally only get one or two in the garden so I don't know where the others had come from and they didn't tell me their secret!
The wood pigeons are still coming and the collared doves later in the day, as well as the male and female blackbirds and one or two crows. I haven't seen the greater spotted woodpecker for a few days, but I'm sure it is still there, as are the sparrows hopping about in the front garden and then coming round to my feeders and a few dunnocks. There was also a very brief visit by a jay one day. Insect activity has been quite high with plenty of bees and the occasional butterfly on the flowers in the garden. A squirrel is still coming for nuts a few times per day and I also saw a fox sunbathing on my lawn the other afternoon before disappearing off into the undergrowth as it were.
Written by Margaret Emerson