Month by month, the behaviour, numbers and movements of garden birds in a rural garden in county Wicklow are chronicled.
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
April come she will..
A showy Magnolia: petals falling already!
Before March was out we had Willow Warblers and Blackcaps in song, joining the earliest spring arrival, a Chiffchaff which arrived a week or more earlier, all ahead of normal arrival dates for us.
The rain showers and more traditional mixed weather of the last couple of days haven't put a dampner on activity around the garden: A pair of Blue Tits are inspecting a bird box daily, just checking it out and pecking around the entrance hole: no nest material or anything like that just yet.
The rain showers have helped the trees leaf out, and the vegetable patch has at last shown progress with garlic, onions and early potatoes all shooting. No doubt the weeds are right up there, but we have made good steady progress clearing weeds from cultivated areas, they are all in the compost bin now, ready to give back nutrients. Fionnuala Fallon, writing in the Irish Times a few weeks back, made that very good point that the really successful (and most annoying) weeds, are nutrient rich for survival in hard conditions, so tapping into that richness via composting is really worthwhile. Suffice to say I have a separate bin for composting the weeds: they will take longer to breakdown and I want to avoid any Lazarus tricks!
Early flowering plants have had a really good run with the benign conditions in March: hope todays cold northerly wind wont be too much of a setback!