What the heck is happening to our weather. Since the year dot it has always been the case here in Kent that our prevailing wind is from the South West and yet it seems that for the last nine months the exact opposite has been the case. The North Easterly seems to have blown for ever this year and is still plaguing us at some strength this week, and for the immediate future by the look of it. Facing the northerly shoreline as I do here in Minster, its a real pain and is playing hell with my taller flowering plants just as they are starting to look good and makes it difficult to here a lot of bird life when on the marsh.
Talking of birdlife, having suffered with a complete absence of finches on my bird feeders all winter I am now enjoying a complete resurgence of both Goldfinch and Greenfinch and the odd cock Chaffinch, whole family groups at times. I was standing quite close to the feeders this morning watching some young Goldfinches and their parents devouring sunflower hearts in the early morning sun when whoosh - a Sparrowhawk appeared from nowhere and without a slightest halt, snatched a young Goldfinch mid-sunflower heart and was gone. There's always a lot of press about Magpies doing so much harm to songbird numbers (which I don't particually believe in) but if it is the case then Sparrowhawks must be well up there with them. I was not amused and I suppose it'll be back on a regular basis now.
Watching Springwatch at the moment is quite an eye-opener on that subject when you see the amount of small birds that the Kestrels feed to their young. But I guess that's life, everything has to eat and we do make it easy for Sparrowhawks by attracting all their dinners to one prominent spot in the garden, why fly around in the countryside when you have a selection all there on a bird feeder in a garden.
Talking of sunflower hearts as well, my local Farm Shop here on Sheppey, is selling 20kg sacks of hearts for £22.50, which I consider great value, especially when you think what carriage would normally cost mail order.