After what seems like forever and a day of waiting, Spring is finally here. The garden has become a madhouse of activity, bursting into life as animals and birds gear up to make the most of this time of plenty.
As I sit in the doorway of my greenhouse, on my comfy wooden chair, protected from any passing April showers, unnoticed, I observe. I can’t help but smile as I watch the unsuspecting stars perform their courtship rituals.
The sound track to this show is provided by bleating lambs, as they race and jump about after their Moms, once found, their bleating is replaced with the tail wagging of contentment. A male Blackbird whistles his melodic tune, as soft and sweet as you’ll ever hear, from his leafless vantage point. Buzzards mew, Ravens croak and Wood Pigeons and Stock Doves coo from every tree. A busy Wren, pauses from its search for food, and adds an explosion of song.
My little pal, Rocky Robin, lands on a thin twig of brash, bobbing to draw my attention. From my fleece pocket I bring out a few suet pellets, and holding them on my outstretched palm I offer them to him, clicking my tongue gently with a tut tut, to encourage and reassure him. Quick as a flash, his whirring wings (what an amazing sound) are blowing away the small crumbs as he attempts to hover in front of his treat. Touch down! Now on my finger tips, he tucks in, but never drops his guard.
A pair of cock Pheasants face off on the lawn. Heads down and tails up, they circle each other clucking, eyeballing each other, and then, as if operated by a switch they erupt off the ground in a frantic head to head, or should say beak to beak? The Sun light catches their feathers, enhancing the shimmering gold, bronze, green, pink and their blood-red cheek patches, this colorful display crowned by their comical Micky mouse ear tufts. They crack me up, so funny.
Suddenly, the mood of the garden changes, high-pitched alarm calls fill the air. There, only feet away from me, a Stoat, excitedly dashing, turning this way then that as it scampers, hunting through the leaf mold.
With the danger gone, Dunnocks continued to play chase me chase me through the leafless hedges. Ducks quack and Geese onk, absolutely everything around me has been infected by spring fever.
Over the coming weeks this concoction of sights and sounds will be complemented by new arrivals: Swallow, Willow Warbler and Nightingale to name but a few, all adding their voice to what is surely the 8th wonder of the World, the Dawn Chorus.
Categories: Burning the Midnight Oil