Yesterday, I visited a bird sanctuary (Fairburn Ings) and it was great to have a walk in the countryside. In terms of bird watching experience, however, looking out of the window in my diningroom gives me far greater joy. Wherever I have lived before, I have never noticed such a range of birds, from magpies to robin red breasts, as well the more common crows and pigeons. And I have been surprised and pleased to see a sparrow – so there are still a few of them around.
The birds who visit my garden are a delight to watch. Whether they are rooting round the ground looking for food or chasing each other in a mating game, there is almost always something going on. They seem to have got used to my presence, too. The other day, when I went to put something in the bin, even making a huge clattering sound as I closed the lid, the bird sitting on the fence stayed where it was, presumably quite happily. I wonder if they therefore realise that I am friend not foe, whether it is because they know I feed them?
They will definitely have had a feast day yesterday, when I had another go at removing dandelions from the remnants of my lawn under the carpet which is being used to kill it. By the look of the size of some of the dandelion roots, it must be many years since the soil here has been dug, the positive upshot being that it is full of fabulous worms. Long may this last: I vow to avoid digging wherever possible to preserve their current levels in the ‘new’ soil.
Back to the birds, they are collecting material to build their nests at the moment. Last year, I could see several of them in the silver birches next door but this year, they haven’t appeared there. Perhaps there is time yet but the birds are definitely not too far away. They have even been collecting their materials in my garden as I potter around outside.
They have also been tearing the outside off the ladybird house. I don’t know if they would have done this anyway or if it is because they have had difficulty finding suitable alternatives for their nests. Still, they have left the remaining model ladybird intact on the outside of the house – last year, I went outside to find the models on the ground, once the bird(s) had realised they were not real and therefore not for eating. So, maybe it is now safe for me to stick them back on!