Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Spring has sprung (they think)
My wreck of a garden has still a frozen then soaked rose or two left over from last year, plus flowers on the yellow buddleia, plentiful flowers on the winter jasmine, none yet visible on the red witch hazel which should have some by now. Everything upside down and confused by the soft mild spell.
Listening yesterday to a pair of robins it was obvious that they were quite convinced it is already Spring.
I fear for the poor little idiots when the inevitable hard frosts begin and they realise their mistake.
A few minutes ago there was a hugely excited racket from a sizeable flock of Long-tailed tits, squabbling and flitting from feeder to feeder in the back garden. Anyone who is unfamiliar with this lovely little bird should take time to seek out a place where they are common and just watch them for a while.
Truly tiny little bodies of pink and black and white, with very bright dark eyes and tails about three times the length of the body, they are utterly enchanting.
Their behaviour is also unusual in that they live in communes and roost in rows, leaving always the 'unmarried'
aunts and uncles to play nanny to the newly fledged babies. The parents do the feeding but when it comes to bed-time aunty and uncle are at each end of the row, with mum and dad next to the babies, huddled up to keep warm.
When a flock arrives you are in no doubt who your visitors are, since the racket they create is impossible to ignore. Designed I suspect to warn off would-be predators.
I'm sure we shall pay for the few days' grace we have had from Winter cold, but it is lovely to see and hear the happy presence of, surely, one of God's greatest creations.
Life would be unthinkable without birds.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 3:29:00 pm