Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Big Birdwatch

A reasonably warm sunny day prompted me out into the garden to see what was going on out there. It's also RSPB birdwatch day, so me and Himself spent an hour this morning peering out of the window and counting the visiting birds.

We counted 9 species in all including plenty of starlings and house sparrows, a blackbird, some wood pigeons as always, a great tit, a coal tit, a robin, a magpie and a pied wagtail.
The was no sign of the usual blue tits. A little bird must have told them we were counting.

But I did spot two penguins, our very own Monty and Mabel that arrived at Christmas....

Also a new addition since Christmas is Himself's weather station. This tells us what the temperature is inside and outside the house, the wind speed and direction, humidity and rainfall, and what the conditions are likely to be for the next few hours. The readout is inside the house so you don't have to go out in the cold to get the readings. Our next door neighbour was a bit alarmed when she first noticed it, but we have assured her it is not a spying device or an alien artifact and she appears comforted by that information.

A toddle to the end of the garden informed me that the birds had, indeed, made use of the nesting pouches we put up last year in the holly tree. Unfortunately they didn't use them to nest in but pulled out the straw to build their own nests instead. The wooden bird house remains uninhabited so far, although we have aligned it as advised on the RSPB site. Ditto the bat boxes. I was given an insect hotel for my birthday, so will be putting that up in the spring to see if it encourages any useful pollinators to move in.

The white tailed bees that used to nest under the garden shed didn't come back last year after the awful wet summer we had the year before and I am wondering if that was the reason we had so few apples on the tree last autumn. Honestly, hardly enough to make a decent pie once the wasps and insects had their share. Hopefully this year willl be better.

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