Friday, 28 March 2014

Whatever will the neighbours think?

Our little back garden on a quiet residential street has clearly gained a bit of a reputation the past few weeks, amongst the local feathered population, as a good place for meeting and courting single ladies! Despite the chill March winds, thoughts of nesting are getting many of the visiting birds in all-of-a-flutter!

Two grey-headed and drab dunnocks spend much of the day hopping around the garden in search of tiny seeds and insects and anything dropped from the feeders above. One of the pair, presumably the male, has taken to singing from a favourite perch in my neighbours pear tree; he busts into a string of high sweet notes, then appears to forget the words, coming to a sudden stop.  

The robins that paired during the late winter months have been cementing their bond, with the male feeding his demanding mate the choosiest morsels from the bird table.

On the daintier end of the spectrum, when the bull-in-a-china-shop woodpigeons are not careering about, the highly colourful goldfinches visit the garden. They sit on the perches of the feeder, one each side like bookends, tucking into the sunflower hearts; a favourite seed feed. Nesting fever has caught on here two however, as during this morning’s visit seed eating was abandoned, and the birds were seen collecting strands of cobwebs and cat-fur that had snagged on the top of the fence, to take it away to some secret building site.

A very short hop over the fence and yet more birds are busy with this nest-building lark! A pair of blue tits are enthusiastically stuffing a nest box with beak-fulls of moss and whatever they can find, whilst a glossy sequinned pair of starlings potter around the lawn, probing with open beaks for grubs, and collecting leaves and other material to fill their favourite nearby roof cavity.

Even the blackbirds have been sharing the bath water, splashing in the rain-filled plant tray that suffices as a bird bath, although the male didn’t look to impressed when he found his Mrs had emptied most of the water with her vigorous bathing before he had chance to enjoy it!

My quiet garden has become a busy dating-club; couples in and out at all times of day – whatever will the neighbours think?

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