I’ve had the regular visitors coming to the garden including one large crow who is hopping about on the lawn at various times in the day and certainly notices where I have scattered the dried mealworms on the ground. It also has been eating the suet balls and had one feed on the suet log, but I don’t think it could balance too well. A magpie has been coming and also hopping about and striding across the lawn as only they can in their dinner suit plumage.
The sparrows and dunnocks have also been hopping about in various places both taking some food on the ground by the bird table, popping across to the bird bath trays and hopping around in the flowerbed and sometimes going off with blades of grass. They also hop about on my patio and have been pecking some new brickwork at the base of the greenhouse and my new steps. I have seen them do this elsewhere and I’m not sure whether they are after the salt that comes out of the bricks and mortar or whether they’re picking out very small pieces of stone. My picture this week is of one of the sparrows doing just that to the brickwork on my new garden steps.
I have only seen a single robin at one time during this past week and hope that the second one is sitting on some eggs, as they were coming in a pair a week or so back. This robin is usually sitting in the cobnut when I go out with some soft bill food or mealworms. The starlings also are enjoying the meal worms and perhaps are taking more than their fair share, as I’m really putting them out for the smaller birds such as the robin, but if they need them, they are welcome. The starlings have also been walking around on the lawn or just hopping about and pecking at the lawn, so I presume they are able to find some bugs and so forth although the ground is now rock hard. It has been an extremely dry month here in Kent with only about 6 mm of rain and some garden plants are looking a bit stressed as they would in the summer. I have also seen the starlings in a couple of neighbouring gardens during the past few days so the local flock of 20 to 30 birds is still in evidence. The blue tits and great tits have also been hopping between the suet logs and the peanut feeder. taking the opportunity when things are a little bit quieter to have their food.
The bird bath continues to be popular and it was a little bit crowded the other day with at least four pigeons in one of the saucers and several others queueing and squabbling as they waited their turn. After all that bathing I had to go out and refill the saucer. Other larger birds have been seen during the past week including a pair of collared doves, a couple of jackdaws and at least three wood pigeons. The blackbirds are still coming and there are at least two males and one female regularly in the garden, but I was reading about song thrushes yesterday and I don’t remember the last time I saw one of those in my garden, although they used to be fairly frequent visitors.
Despite cooler weather I have seen some larger bees feeding on various spring flowers but no butterflies since Easter.
Written by Margaret Emerson