Sunday, April 12, 2009


I'm quite enjoying the garden at the moment, despite the hard work involved in keeping it within the confines of the three dimensions available to us. The trees are full of blossom: the damson's just going over, the pear's in full flood, the cherry will be open this week and the rowans are a mass of buds. The bulbs have been pretty good this year, though I've not seen any sign of the cottage tulips so I guess the damp summer and tulip fire have done for them at last, which is a shame. The small species tulips have been game and the daffs and narcissi have been a picture.

I'm not sure where the wrens are nesting, though I suspect it's somewhere in the brambles by the railway line. I scarcely ever see them but each dawn is heralded by a titanic blast of song so I know they're out there. The robins investigated the boxes I've put out but have elected to nest behind next door's garage again. I don't know how the male does it, he's up all night singing and spends all day bouncing round the garden like a particularly feisty Jack Russell terrier. The blue tits and great tits are obviously nesting nearby, judging by the frenzied activity in treetops. They're joined by the spadgers, which seem to be even thinner on the ground this year, which is an immense worry. I like sparrows, they're characterful and comfortable. A couple of years ago I put up a terraced nest box for them which they've pretty much ignored. The occupants to date have been a pair of great tits and a wood mouse.

And I'm particularly enjoying the starlings this year. One of them sounds familiar - this is the second year running we've had one that includes a perfect impersonation of a curlew in its song. New this year is the one that includes really good imitations of other songbirds including phrases of goldfinch, chaffinch, meadow pipit and blackcap. This latter is good enough for the railway station blackcap to come over here to see off the opposition.

A nice sunny day. Happy Easter everyone.


Madame DeFarge said...

It sounds so idyllic. One of the delights of returning home and leaving London is hearing birdsong in the morning. There's a little blackbird that does his best in London, but he can't compete with the bin lorries. Back in Derby, it's all go in the mornings, with our holly hedge a particular magnet for sparrows.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I love being out so late that I get the birds on the way home. Your place sounds idyllic

Gadjo Dilo said...

Happy Easter Kevin. We've lots of spuggies, and starlings; no sign of the Swallows etc yet, but Mrs Dilo has seen some storks in the countryside. You have a nearby blackcap? Lovely little singers they are.

Scarlet-Blue said...

I'm sure there's a bird outside impersonating a mobile phone and a car alarm. Clever bugger.
I have about 50 sparrows roosting in my roof space...

Rachel Cotterill said...

Lovely to read your descriptions of the birdsong - it's one thing I really wish I was better at identifying. One day I'll find the time to learn! :)

Kevin Musgrove said...

Mme DeF and Lulu: it does sound idyllic, doesn't it? It really hadn't occured to me. I don't do so bad considering I live next to a railway line and the motorway's half a mile down the road.

Gadjo: Storks now, that's serious stuff. We'd have every prodnose on the council payroll checking out our chimbleys for nesting strength.

Scarlet: could be. don't think of them as sparrows so much as loft insulation.

Hello and thanks Rachel! We'll have to have a series of workshops.