Spring in the Garden

Spring in the Garden

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Sex and Violence in the Garden

We didn't really do anything in the garden until a couple of weekends ago, more of which later hopefully.  However, I did participate in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch at the end of January.  We do get a fair number of birds in our garden for various reasons.  We live near a small strip of woodland as well as farm land, the garden has hedges and bushes as well a variety of naturally occurring food for birds and, when I remember, food in bird-feeders. We also have a small pond, which quite a few birds visit for a drink, and some may have eaten some of the frog spawn and tadpoles, which arrived this Spring.  Watching the birds can be a very peaceful and soothing past-time but nature is not entirely quiet and idyllic.

During the Winter months we noticed aggressive wood pigeons going chest to chest with any bird they thought was infringing on their territory and feisty blackbirds chasing other birds including chunky wood pigeons away from precious food sources.  Already in February we had male wood pigeons pestering the poor females who did their best to remove themselves from their amorous attentions.  The females were obviously more aware that the weather wasn't yet suitable to rear little chicks, while the males had only one thing on their mind.

More recently I looked out of the window after hearing a lot of chattering to see a sparrow hawk sitting under our hedge with some poor creature still squirming under its claws.  A few minutes earlier a mistle thrush had bumped into our bedroom window and I'd seen it looking a bit dazed with, it seemed, a few feathers coming out of its neck, so I suspect that the sparrow hawk had chased it once unsuccessfully and then returned for the kill, which is a shame as we don't get many thrushes here.

On a more positive note, this morning I saw some greenfinches on the niger seed feeder for the first time I put it up over a month ago.  We also have a robin who comes up very close when we are outside digging and weeding.

I've still got my results for the big garden bird watch somewhere, so I will try to look them out and add them later.