Dear Readers, every day this week I have been woken up by the sound of cackling. Magpies rarely land in the garden – it’s a little bit too small for them to comfortably take-off, big inflexible lummoxes that they are – and so they usually settle for a quick smash and grab on the bird table. However, I have been throwing out some live mealworms on the ground for the robins, and they often hide under the mulch (I like to give the poor things a sporting chance).
These two are adults, but quite young I think, and I suspect that they’re nesting somewhere close by. I’m not absolutely delighted by this, as I know they can take nestlings and eggs, but nature is it what it is. And they are superb birds to look at, with their iridescent tails and wings. And they are so intelligent. I’m not surprised that they’ve realised that there are easy pickings at Casa Bugwoman.
The photos were all taken through my kitchen window which hasn’t had a proper clean for a while because there are False Widow Spiders living in the window frame. Apologies for the slight fuzziness, but our eight-legged friends must come first, you know.
I also noticed the magpie giving the pond what my mother would have called ‘an old-fashioned look’ – the frogs are just getting going, and if they stray too close to the edge I suspect they’ll get exploratory stab. On the subject of which…..
Lovely Readers, I have a question for you. What could I plant around the edge of the pond that would provide some cover for frogs who are coming and going from the pond at this time of year? In a month or so it will be packed with greenery (and it’s fine for when the little frogs leave) but any amphibians arriving or leaving at this time of year have to run a pretty bare gauntlet. Ideally I’d like something that is wildlife friendly in other ways too, and which has lots of greenery by February. All suggestions eagerly considered!
Anyhow, it isn’t just the magpies who are enjoying the garden. There was a robin belting out his challenge as the sun slowly faded yesterday. I love the long shadows and the golden light at this time of year.
And here’s a great tit…
And how about the blue tits? A pair of them checked out my sparrow nesting boxes again yesterday, but I’m sure the entrance is too large for them.
So the pace of life is really hotting up. I’m glad I’ve got suet pellets under the stairs and worms in the shed, because everything is just about to kick off. Looks like maybe, just maybe, we got through winter.