Sunday, 25 May 2014

time, tick, tock...

Time, there just never ever seems to be enough of it. For some reason finding half an hour to watch some birds seemed impossible. I had a lot to do and not enough time to fit that in let alone anything else. One of my jobs was to get the plants in the ground in the garden, weather permitting. Eventually there was a nice evening when I arrived home from work. With my little one helping, I started the gardening.

Within seconds I seemed to have gained an eagre companion, then another and another... First was a blackbird, following me everywhere and (as long as I wasn't looking) picking at worms in my wake. Then the dunnocks, a pair, flitting in and out of the cover of whatever plant they happened to be hiding behind. Goldfinch arrived in pairs taking sunflower hearts from the feeders, until the housesparrows showed up in force and bullied their way in. A collared dove took whatever pickings the others dropped on the floor. Starlings frolicked in the viburnum. A greenfinch was at the top of the neighbours tree. Rook and jackdaws we flying around. Somewhere nearby a gold crest sang. A wren breifly popped up on the garden fence, but wasn't brave enough to stick around with all the activity.

The highlight though was a robin. He came straight up to me and was foraging under my feet as I knelt on the floor digging holes for some petunias. He even didn't flinch when my little one ran over for a cuddle and to see "what you doing papa'?". Now none of this is particularly new to any of us and our garden visitors can be as familiar as pets. The thing that struck me most was seeing my little one watch the "birdies" with fascination. This reminded me that this was exactly how my passion and interest in birds and wildlife began. In my own back garden!

The first memory I have was cracking nuts at Chistmas as a small boy in the garden with my grandmother. She told me to be quiet and hold still. I froze and didn't realise why. Then between my legs arrived a robin. He was eating the nuts seemingly oblivious of me. Sometimes it easy to forget just how amazing nature is and that we don't need to go anywhere to see it, it surrounds us everywhere.