What a busy time for the birds it is at the moment, there seem to be youngsters everywhere! A few days ago there was something of a drama in my garden. As I mentioned on my last post the Starlings are being particularly boisterous and noisy. The fat treats are being devoured as fast as I put them out and the poor little Tits are hardly getting a look in! I'm sure there are many people who have a fat ball holder like the one above.
Well, a few days ago I had been working in the garden quite close to this feeder, when something caught my attention and it really was double take time! Squashed into the feeder was a juvenile Starling with only its head protruding, upside-down, from one of the spaces. The poor thing was making no noise at all (very unusual for a Starling!), although it was moving its head around a lot, and had obviously been there all the time I had been in the garden and goodness knows how much longer! It may not have been panicking but I certainly was, I was frightened to go too close as I cannot bear to see suffering and was at a complete loss to know what to do to help it, if I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it was possible for such a large bird to get into such a narrow space and it was clear there was no easy way to get it out.
I ran indoors to phone HLH who was out on an errand and I was in such a state I could hardly use the phone and kept hitting wrong keys. Thankfully, just as I was doing so I heard the car coming up the drive. HLH too was flummoxed to begin with but decided the only thing to do was to attempt to cut the poor thing out of the holder. Luckily he has inherited a large collection of tools from his Dad who was a very practical man; HLH isn't :( among these he found a very small pair of wire cutters.
With great gentleness he gradually cut away the wire struts around the middle of the holder until it was in two pieces and as he removed the top part the Starling burst out and immediately hopped behind a large shrub! I was so relieved but would have liked to get a better look at it as one wing looked a bit crumpled.
Every time I looked behind the shrub it hopped to the opposite end and as I didn't want to distress it further I scattered some seed and put a small dish of water nearby.
When I looked an hour or so later there was no sign of it so I am hoping it has recovered. However two days ago I heard a scrabbling noise and a juvenile Starling somehow lurched itself over the fence and onto the birdbath and one of its wings was spread out strangely, it then disappeared back over the fence in the same way. Whether it is the same one, I really don't know, but it does worry me.
On a happier note the (not very good) photos below show some of the juveniles that have been visiting the garden in the past week or so.
The Winter Flowering Cherry tree above looks sparse because I think the snow and frost affected it, I actually thought I was going to lose it but it is just showing signs of recovery.
'Sweet bird! thy bow'r is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou has't no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year.'
'Looking up here at me!'
'I think I look like a fluffy Easter Chick!'
This juvenile Robin was enjoying the sunshine.
As was this juvenile Dunnock also known as the Hedge Sparrow.
& hops about the hedges
& soon to brood the early Spring
Will have some downy pledges'
The hot weather in the last few days has meant lots of watering in the garden especially as I have been planting some annuals which my sister-in-law grew from seed in her greenhouse. If the slugs and snails spare them they should look lovely when they flower.
I have Antirrhinums flowering in the garden which survived the icy Winter
'To keep her slender fingers from the sunne
Pan through the pastures oftentimes hath runne,
To pluck the speckled foxglove from their stemme
And on those fingers neatly placed them.'
On one of our local walks with our dog a few days ago we very appropriately saw... this Dog Rose!
'When the spring came forth in her May-day mood,
Methought 'twas a beautiful sight to see,
'Mid the bursting buds by the zephyr wooed,
The green leafy sprays of the wild-briar tree.
When the sunbeams shone with a warmer glow,
And the honied bells were sipped by the bee,
Than the wreath that hung on the wild-briar tree.'
'None can have a healthy love for flowers
Unless he loves the wild ones'
'In riding a horse we borrow freedom'