Sunday, 26 April 2015

In praise of grassy lawns

Mistle Thrush: 'barrel chested' alright (c.OOS)

Lawn is probably a bit of a mis-nomer in our case: we have about a half acre of grass, that is mown on 3 levels: the tightest, lawn section is close to the house, and we vary the length in two other adjoning sections which gives the bees, butterflies and moths an open space to forage: right now the area is peppered with cheery bright yellow Dandelions: a food plant for flying insects and one we are happy to accomodate in the mowing regime.  We could go for all out meadow in half the area: we tried that one summer and had a huge end of season clear up with hay stacks and a small Massey Ferguson commissioned to top the seasons growth.  This was altogether daunting and we feel the current 'cut, with some keep' good for wildlife as well as youthful recreation of the space.

Starling: tempted down to the lawn by recent rain. (c.OOS)
The recent rain showers brought  a total of ten bird species out to patrol and feed on the open lawn: highlights were our spring migrant Starlings, a  much more longer distant migrant, the Chiffchaff, a bossy Mistle Thrush that has a nest in the Ash tree in the lane, as well as a party of Blackbirds and a couple of shuffling Dunnocks.

Chiffchaff: fresh arrivals often take to the grass for insect prey. (cOOS)

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