Sunday, 20 June 2010

Garden Update

Our pair of thrushes who have already had 2 broods and eaten almost all of the snails in our garden, have made a new nest in a thorn bush at the top of the side lawn.  The female is sitting so I assume that there are eggs to be hatched.  Yesterday I disturbed the male thrush.  He was showing one of the youngsters (the one we rescued in a cat food box, who is quite large now) how to dip for pond snails.
Later in the day I saw a flycatcher on top of the leylandii.  This is the first time I have see this bird in the garden, apparently they are quite scarce.
The frogs are doing well and they are less worried about my presence now that we have warm days and the spawning season has passed.  Keeping an amphibian pond is a joy, but the prolonged dry weather has been a problem.  I have been topping up the pond with tap water in order to conserve the rainwater in my butts for the plants.  This has resulted in a rapid growth of duckweed, so it is much harder to see the newts at present.
Another new visitor to our garden is this small skipper butterfly.  I have occasionally seen them on the heathland a few miles away, but this is my first sighting here.
Despite the long and cold winter, this year has been a good one for local birds.  They have raised lots of chicks successfully and we have starlings, pigeons, blackbirds, sparrows and magpies aplenty.  I saw a kestrel fly over the garden a few days ago and there are sparrow hawks, buzzards and goshawks locally, but there seems to be a very low level of predation and lots of local bird tables which all help in the scheme of things.

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