Saturday, 18 May 2013
To the side of my bungalow I have a six feet high hawthorn hedge that separates my drive from my neighbour's and gives me some privacy. Whilst trimming his side of it yesterday (I leave my side unkempt all the time birds might be nesting in it), I could hear some cheeping. An inspection once I'd finished showed that their was a House Sparrow's nest in there with chicks, a good spot seeing as it's only a couple of feet above the bird table. They used to nest quite a bit in hedges years ago, an untidy mess of straw and feathers with a hole in the middle, not unlike the African Weaver birds whose family apparently they belong too. There is a Sparrow terrace nest box on the wall of my bungalow but clearly the hedge is preferable.
The hedge has done well this year because as well as the sparrows, a Blackbird has just built a nest a bit further along and a few weeks ago a pair of Robins fledged their chicks in it, and hopefully won't be the last.
My garden isn't very big but by planting all the right things for wildlife, and including the pond in the foreground, it does very well for all manner of things. Blue Tits and Great Tits are in nest boxes at the top of it, as are another, or the same, pair of Robins in the yellow shrub at the top.
Below you can see their chicks in a nest box in the shrub.
Bad news concerning Coots on the reserve again. The nest that I pictured recently with 13 eggs, now only has 7 left - bloody predators! Probably crows again but given how close it is to the bank it could be a fox - whatever it was it shows that we are going to have to intensify our controls if we are to prevent too many losses.
I was cheered though my both the sight of an adult black rabbit with a few normal ones and a singing Corn Bunting on the reserve boundary fence. The rabbits (dare I say it) are slowly beginning to increase slightly after the manic culling of their numbers in recent years and it's good to see one of the black ones surviving from those of that colour that used to be there. As for the Corn Bunting, well, what a rare and delightful sound that is, to hear one singing in the springtime around here. A little treat that is just as good as any Dusky Thrush, apparently being twitched at Margate today.