Saturday, June 06, 2015

Of birds and bees!

Hello Dear Readers,

One day last week we were working in the kitchen and suddenly a flock of starlings descended on our garden and they were all squabbling to be first at the bird feeders.

There were too many birds for them to all eat at once, and even though we have quite a few bird feeders there were not enough to cope with all these birds. It was fascinating to watch as the mums tried to feed their youngsters.

We had about a week of this and now they seem to have calmed down as the youngsters seem to be feeding themselves and they appear to be eating wildlife from the lawn too, hence the pressure has eased on the bird feeders.  (We had great trouble keeping up with them, crushing peanuts and topping the feeders up regularly during the day.  If we went out we came back to find them almost empty.)

Starlings and youngsters

These pictures are a little fuzzy as I didn't have time to focus properly!  But I was pleased to capture the little guys "on film", as it were!

Starlings and youngsters

Starlings and youngsters

Starlings and youngsters

Bug hotel
About 2 weeks ago
Bug hotel
As it is today
The bee activity has almost stopped around our little bug hotel and there are now 7 holes that are plugged up.

"Fairy Shoes"? and bee
"Fairy Shoes" ?

"Fairy shoes"? with bee!
The bees love these too!

"Fairy shoes"?

Here in Southern England we have had a lot of rain showers lately. It's really been like "April Showers" as one minute it's raining and then it's sunny. As a consequence most plants are growing really well! Our peonies have masses of flowers and the rhubarb is certainly the best it's ever been!

Peonies and Rhubarb

Peonies and rhubarb

Japanese Snowball bush
Japanese Snowball
This tree has been growing in our garden for many years and was here as a small bush when we moved in.  It is loved by the birds, butterflies and the bees.   Have only recently discovered its name as Monty Don was talking about it on Gardeners World on the BBC the other week.  It has clusters of tiny flowers which progressively open as the season extends and in autumn produces lovely red berries which are a valuable food source for the birds in early winter.

The birds find lots of insects to eat in it and it gives the much needed cover from a sparrowhawk that hunts in this area.   I had only been thinking that I had not seen the sparrowhawk lately when we saw it flying past today, in pursuit of a collared dove pigeon.   It's very sad, but everything has to eat!

I took some photos of a sparrowhawk in our garden a couple of years ago, I will try to find them and post them if I do.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Barbara xx


deanna7trees said...

oh how i wish we could grow Peonies here. the soil is not acidic enough here. they are so beautiful.

FlashinScissors said...

Thank you for your comment Deanna. These peonies have been here for nearly 30 years now and get better every year. We have one white peony which we planted in what was supposed to be a bog garden (it's meant to get an overflow from our pond, but with the hot summers it doesn't really get wet) and that plant has two buds on, however last year although it had buds they never came into flower, so here's hoping this year we get some nice white flowers!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Peonies are such beautiful flowers and it always amazes me how those heavy flower heads don't break the stems off the plant.

FlashinScissors said...

Yes, I think peonies are amazing flowers and it's such a shame they don't last longer!

Amy at love made my home said...

I am always so amazed when I see large groups of starlings! Your peonies are beautiful!!!!! I love them. One of my favourite flowers for sure. Hope that the rest of the holes on your bug hotel get filled up soon! xx

karen said...

lovely birds and yes, the peonies are gorgeous! They remind me of my gram she had tons of them in her garden.