Dear Readers, those who’ve been following this page for a few weeks might recognise this plant as the nine-foot tall angelica that popped up this spring. Well, the flowerheads have gone over and the plant has been looking a bit precipitous for a few days, but the rain and wind on Sunday night finally blew it over altogether. What a shame! But it’s clearly become handy for some of my local visitors, who find it very convenient.
The garden is still full of fledgling starlings – by this time in a normal year they’d be much more independent, and the garden would be falling silent. This year, the little devils are still everywhere. Each time I walk out to the shed they positively explode out of the surrounding trees and shrubs, followed by the woodpigeons, collared doves, goldfinches etc etc.
I’ve taken to saying “Calm down guys, it’s only me” every time I go out, but I’m not convinced it’s working.
And then, I had a very nice surprise this morning.
Look at this fledgling house sparrow! I haven’t really seen sparrows in the garden for months, apart from the odd fleeting visit, but this morning the place was full of them. Here’s a Dad feeding his youngster…
For an enchanting ten minutes they seemed to be everywhere. Perching on the hemp agrimony….
..hanging out on the greater willow herb…
or just chilling on the hand rail waiting for some food….
…and every so often getting lucky…
Mum used to love sparrows.
“They’re so friendly!” she’d say. “You never see them fighting”.
Well, all I can say is she must have been watching a different species from the one that I observe, because I see sparrows squabbling all the time though, to give Mum her due, it does normally seem short-lived and non-serious. And today it was all about the difficult business of rearing these hard-earned balls of fluff to maturity. I always feel so privileged to host the local birds, especially when, like sparrows and starlings, they’ve become so much rarer than they were when I was a girl. The garden might look a bit wild and woolly, but goodness a lot of wildlife pops by, and that makes me much happier than a manicured plot would ever do.