Saturday, 25 February 2012

Blackbirds join the spring chorus

We love to add Blackbird to our list of singing birds about the garden.. They are so melodic and the song has a lovely tempo; they typically sing in late afternoon and in the evening, their song is another reminder that the light stretches until well after six oclock now: At the other end of the day, i.e. dawn, a full twelve hours earlier, the Song Thrushes are waking me up, with their loud and much more urgent song..

Blackbirds: song is a sure sign of spring

This is the last week of the Garden Bird Survey, nothing really new to report except that I think that our garden bird populations will have survived the winter quite nicely. They will benefit from the mild winter season just passing, after three hard ones, and from the food we provide as they set up territories for the nesting season.

Elsewhere around the garden, I have been disturbing Wood Pigeons from the odd Elder or Hawthorn tree: hidden in the mop of Ivy thereon..

Ivy is a pretty unique plant in that it flowers and sets fruit in the winter with lime green flowers in October, providing nectar for late flying butterflies such as Red Admirals, and fruiting round about now when the ripening fruits are held out in matt black orbs amongst the glossy green leaves of this often maligned plant:  Wood Pigeons feast on the seeds even before the fruit ripens whilst Thrushes, Blackbirds and Blackcaps will take the ripening fruit a little later on in April.

Wood Pigeon in a stand of Ivy

Balls of black Ivy berries

After last weeks inspiring visit to Altamont, it was back to home turf to assess options: always easier when the weather has been so dry and sunny: Vegetable beds were cleared of weeds and compost added, ready now for first spring planting of Shallots; seed onions and potatoes can wait another  couple of weeks. 

Pulmonaria: star performer!

Great to see a mix of colour bursting through: Pulmonaria or Lungwort is a great value little perennial with a super mix of flower colours and foliage, and all this in a shade lover! 

Enjoy the great weather, long may it last..

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