The smallest visitor yet

Almost every time I look out into the back garden, I see a feathered visitor. They fill me with such joy, as I watch them by the pond, grazing their way through the undergrowth or simply sitting in the fence.

One species, or should I say two, that I haven’t quite got to grips with is sparrow vs. dunnock. As a kid, I was familiar with sparrows but had never come across the name ‘dunnock’ and now I wonder which species they actually were.

Notwithstanding the species, I think that there were a lot more small brown birds in the 1970s than there appear to be now. On the other hand, in the last three years, the garden has attracted more of them, I dare say because there is a more congenial habit for them than there once was.

I am confident that this little bird is unlikely to have been the one that kicked (yet again) the pondweed into the depths of the pond where it is hard to retrieve. I’m going to have to redesign the pond at some point, now I understand what is needed better, because whilst there is a lovely slope for wildlife, there is little shallow water to stand plants. In the meantime, I hope the oxygenators can survive being kicked into deeper water than perhaps they should be.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Pond and bog garden, Wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The smallest visitor yet

  1. S/he took some finding 🙂

  2. I love seeing the birds in the garden too and more especially hearing their songs as they are often hard to spot. Like you I have had to re-do some projects because it was only when I had finished them that I realised there was something I hadnt taken into account. It is frustrating but all part of learning.

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    We have the cutest little wrens in the garden- even smaller brown birds. I was not too happy to see one in the urn having a nice sunbathe/ dustbath and uprooting the pansies at the same time! But then i thought why not- situation quickly remedied afterwards.

    • Helen says:

      I think I saw a wren, too. Not seen one before but it was the smallest bird I’ve ever seen 😊

      Nice story about your wren and the pansies.

  4. Carol Anne says:

    There are a lot of sparrows in my garden now too! I love birds!

  5. Dunnocks used to be known as “hedge sparrows” but it was changed a while ago. They are much more interesting than you would think from their dull brown retiring nature.

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/dunnock/nest-and-breeding-habits/

    • Helen says:

      Thank you for the link. Interesting reading and I think I may be seeing both dunnocks and sparrows in the garden.

      • Yes, that is quite likely. If you watch regularly it is amazing what you sometimes see.

        • Helen says:

          Watching the birds is definitely quite an education. Just as well my daughter already knew the facts of life when a loved up couple of pigeons decided the fence by the kitchen window was a suitable venue for breeding activities.

          • Yes, pigeons are shameless. They also eat brassicas with enthusiasm if you plant a bed of them. But if you plant a few at a time in the flower beds they don’t seem to spot them. I speak from experience and pass this tip on in the hope it may prove useful. 🙂

            Some bird, species unknown, but I suspect the blackbird, has had our redcurrants in the last week.

            They are a mixed blessing.

          • Helen says:

            I was thinking the same about mixed blessings – I just hope they are eating the slugs. Especially the ones that like hostas.

            I’ve left the rest of my redcurrants for the blackbirds now. The netting didn’t quite cover the bush, so they were probably still getting them.

            Anyway, thanks for the tip about brassicas. I will take this onboard.

          • Helen says:

            I’ve writing a post about my first hosta soup: https://silverbells2012.wordpress.com/recipes/hosta-soup/

            Even my daughter has eaten it and found it to be okay 😊

          • Sorry, must have missed it during my erratic reading. Never seen them used in soup before.

          • Helen says:

            No worries… I’ve steamed the leaves like cabbage and they are most pleasant. Nicer than cabbage as well 😊

            Honestly, hosta is the way forward – easier to grow than cabbage and tastier without the smell that cabbage leaves in the house.

          • Gardening is on hold now until we move. Will look to grow some when we start the new garden.

          • Helen says:

            Moving.. how exciting! Are you planning to move far?

          • Probably down to Suffolk. The problem is timing. We will need a year or so to tidy this place up for sale and find somewhere else, but it’s a bit soon to move as I’m unlikely to find another job at the age of 63/64. However, I don’t want to be one of those people who plans on moving then dies just before, or even just after, it happens. 🙂

          • Helen says:

            Well, my parents are nearly 80 and still planning on moving!

            I can, however, see your dilemma. Seems like you’ve got a job which suits you, so aside from things like pensions, it would be a shame to give that up for a year or two.

            Maybe you could tidy up the house and look for properties anyway, as these things can take time. It only took me about four years to find my house 😊

          • I’m sure it will take two years as a minimum.

            My mum and dad moved in their late 70s/early 80s (can’t quite remember). It was only five miles but I’m not sure they ever fully recovered.

          • Helen says:

            That’s what I fear for my mum and dad!

            Anyway, good luck with sorting your house out and finding your new home. I find that things generally become clearer as times goes on – starting the journey resolves the future 😀

          • Yes, it will start to work itself out once we start working towards it. 🙂 I hope…

          • Read it, Sounds like a good recipe – simple and uses interesting ingredients. Couldn’t comment on it as there was no box.

          • Helen says:

            Sorry not to have replied sooner – your comment didn’t come up in my notifications. But yes, the recipe is simply 😊

            Thanks for the tip off about no comment box. I will look into the matter.

          • WordPress is driving me mad at the moment with random minor omissions. 🙂

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