Garden Wildlife Update

After time away on holiday, I’ve been back home a while now; returning to lots of catching up on family stuff – and to days still very much full of birds…

Each day, fledgling blue tits have hung around the seed feeders, finding their bearings in all the newness of the world, whilst tribes of adolescent starlings take a more head-on approach, dashing about in shows of anxious bravado. A pair of blackbirds has been busy with the job of nesting – the male singing and posing and posturing, fanning his tail to assert his territory between dash-grabs at worms, whilst the female intently gathers food.

Swifts, from time to time, circle in and out of the garden’s radar – and beneath them, our tiny patch of wildflower “meadow” is blooming, attracting all sorts of insects which in turn draw in the birds.

Picture of garden mini-"meadow" (Oxeye daisies)

Last weekend, my own radar picked up the sound of very faint chirping from our roof – and within a day or so, it was obvious that a second brood of sparrow nestlings has hatched there. All week, the male and female have dashed in and out from under the roof tiles, bringing food to their increasingly vocal youngsters. And, yesterday, another house sparrow pair brought fledglings into the garden to hop about the patio, search for insects in the shrubs and to learn about the easy pickings from the seed feeders. 

Picture of House Sparrows

I find it hard to convey just how brilliant seeing those fledglings has been for me… This spring and summer feels like a real sparrow-turning-point; not only are they back to take up their long missed place in our immediate birdscape, but they seem to be thriving here again – at long, long last! I feel I ought to put out some kind of celebratory banner! Fingers crossed that this may be an early sign of a reverse around here in the mystery decline of house sparrows. Maybe (fingers even more tightly crossed!) it could be good sign for their general future all around the country too? …Like the otters, are they making a comeback in Britain? I’m hoping, with the ever-onward spirit of nature conservation, that this will prove to be so… 

Meanwhile, with the sun blazing from a blue sky, a great tit has been sunbathing on the shed roof, wings spread wide to the light. A couple of days ago, the male blackbird brought a fledgling into the garden with him – and earlier this week the grey squirrel galumphed across our shed roof to land on our fence, his radar honed in on the bird feeders, planning raids.

Picture of a grey squirrel

I must try to get out in the garden at night for some bat watching soon – they usually pass over us just after dusk on the way from their roosts to the woods and river…

All I need now is radar to detect where on earth I’ve put the bat detector!

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