Currently, my garden has more birds than I can ever recall! I've been spending a fortune on all kinds of bird seed and putting out dried mixed fruit, apples, mealworms and all kinds, its obviously become a magnet for local birds. The birds have a choice of four drinking pools, my newest edition, a Shenstone Bird Bath was purchased from Titchwell RSPB on Saturday – I also have another RSPB bird bath I purchased earlier in the year. However, the favoured bird bath is my very old and heavy concrete bath, which I purchased in Colchester (when I lived there) many years ago – birds were queueing up to have a splash in this bath today! There are loads of youngsters appearing in the garden, with a least 2 juv. Robins, a juv. Goldfinch, juv. Blackbirds, juv. Starlings x lots! Plus all the adults! Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons, Hedge Sparrows, House Sparrows and Chaffinches. My favourite female Blackbird is incredibly tame and will be in the kitchen before too long if I leave the patio doors open unattended! I had a Painted Lady in the garden today which was lovely.
I've spent a small fortune on revamping my patio over the last few weeks and I am so pleased with how it looks now. Lots of colourful plants in pots, solar lights and lanterns, cleaned up some statues I had, plus some I have brought back from my mother's garden, including stones, rocks and a lovely old tree root that my mother carried back from the beach on her bike once! I have also stood lots of mother's charity shop german vases randomly around the plant pots and it all looks quite arty farty! The Hedgehog corner has now been finished with feeding station box, house for hoglets/hibernation, water bowl and an owl statue on watch! I have two huge pots full of runner beans, which are creeping up the canes apart from two which have been stripped by slugs (I don't use pellets or poisons of any kind in my garden) and 4 pots of 'Gardener's Delight' tomatoes (the variety my father always bought) which are coming along nicely.
All of above is on my patio area, which is fenced off with high trellis and gate to access my very wild and overgrown back garden, which needs sorting out big time – currently I'm not touching it, as several birds have probably nested in there and I don't want to disturb it, until I am absolutely sure all youngsters have flown. This area used to have a greenhouse and was fairly neat and tidy until a neighbour's tree demolished the greenhouse in a gale and since then, I started this blog, plus parent's failing ill health and lack of time mean't I had let this part of the garden go completely. I also made the mistake of planting elder cuttings! So currently the 'wild' garden is full of very tall and mature elders, stinging nettles, a holly tree and a tall bay tree. On the left hand side of the back garden, I have two six foot fence panels down (which ETM put up!), which means I am exposed to the neighbour that lives that side (he and his family have a very large garden), but because of the 'jungle' I can't see this huge gap in the fence at all now!!! This probably explains why I have seen a muntjac deer in this part of the garden through my gate several times this Spring!
This evening I went to Titchwell RSPB in the sticky heat to attempt to see the Purple Heron – I failed again. A Grey Heron and Cormorants were chilling on the dead trees beyond Patsy's Pool, Marsh Harriers were cruising over the reedbeds and there were several birds on the pool, including Red-crested Pochards, Little Grebes, Mute Swans, Mallard and Teal. The highlight of the evening was huge numbers of Painted Ladies – which were all along the East Trail, a wonderful sight. Also a very cute baby Muntjac was standing on the path for a few moments before it spotted me. No sign of any Turtle Doves. I was very disappointed to see the puddle area in the coach car park has been filled in with black tarmac and does not look pleasant at all either. I had a serious hayfever attack with uncontrollable sneezing which exhausted me, so had to leave earlier than expected. Away from the grasses and pollen and back in my car, I felt a little better, so headed up to Choseley Barns. Sat in the car and watched 4 Red-legged Partridges, several Pied Wagtails, 2 Hares and a Marsh Harrier before returning home to King's Lynn. A cracking thunderstorm and heavy rain is to follow in the early hours of tomorrow morning and all day on Tuesday!
PICTURES TO FOLLOW