Friday, 16 September 2011

Autumnal Observations

 We have been growing pumpkins again this year and they are starting to look good.  We have had 4 mature specimens developing across the garden.  During last week there were the heavy winds from the remnants of hurricane Katia and the garden was blown about considerably.  One of the pumpkin plants started to die back, so we have had to pick the pumpkin earlier than expected.  The other 3 are still growing well.
 There is a reduction in the UK sparrow population at present.  I find this difficult to believe as I have just counted 40 sparrows on our laurel hedge.  They sit and roost there, and in the holly hedge.  I suspect that the high numbers are due to us providing cover to protect them from the passing sparrowhawks.  It also helps that Rosie feeds the birds on a regular basis, especially in adverse weather.
There is a significant amount of colour variation in the sparrows feather patterns and it is possible to identify some individuals at a glance.  Clearly, they are all a local population group living in and around our garden. One individual has a single pure white primary feather on one wing, which stands out in the flock.  That male bird can be followed around the garden at a glance and we see him almost every day.
With so many birds, a feeder full of seed can empty in a day and the fat-ball never lasts the whole day long.  with 3 hanging feeders and 4 cup feeders, a seed tray and breadcrumbs on the lawn, these birds are fast becoming outdoor wild pets!
It is not yet lunch time and the feeders are almost empty.  They have consumed much of the days rations already.  What a life!

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