Rushlake Green Village Leaf

Birdlife Diary May 2014

Denise and Nick have been keeping a diary of the birdlife at 3 Byschool Cottages.
They have kindly agreed to let us publish this extract:


1st May. Saw my 1st brood of baby blue tits how tiny they are like little fluff balls clumsily flitting around trying to land on the feeders with mum watching anxiously! Woodpecker here early again feeding on the nuts, as is my bobbin (mum robin) with her new baby sat in the ground feeder. Billy my tame blackbird has brought his baby back again today for breakfast of live mealworms. We have called it Charlie as it’s too early to tell if it is male or female. So pretty, such lovely markings. Haven’t seen Ginny wren for 5 days now. I pray she’s safe & just sitting on her nest somewhere. Nuthatch here again.

2nd May. Bill’s been feeding baby Charlie this morning. So sweet. Nuthatch here and Bobbin with baby. No Ginny Wren.

3rd May. What a lovely start to the day. Warm & sunny. Patio doors open fully. Bill’s here for bath & breakfast with Charlie, bobbins, chaffinches, blue tits greenfinches, garden warbler many goldfinches as always, full house today. Must have missed woody as he’s so early. My cottage garden is looking pretty with everything in bloom. Full of colour. 3 of my 6 Clematis out. A mass of deep burgundy, pinks & purple. Two juvenile  Woodpeckers flew into the garden chasing each other & have scared off all the others. Such pretty birds .Bertha & Bertha’s boy are here to feed (she’s a very feisty female who Billy dislikes) Watch it Bertha! Bill returns to claim the meal worms bringing not just Charlie but another baby. Where’s he come from? Well Billy’s had his second brood. More mealworms on order! Name? Sidney, because he’s a bit of a bruiser!

4th May. Just filled up all the hanging feeders & I could hear Billy’s beautiful birdsong from the trees beyond the summerhouse. He brings tears to my eyes he is such a delight. He sings every morning & evening. He really has captured my heart! A woodpecker is in the window feeder. Um very brave to come so close! Billy & family have been many times today, as has the normal crowd. It’s such fun watching the baby blue tits & Chaffinches, they dive bomb you when you pass them. They have no fear at this age. Coal tits are around a lot today & also the garden Warbler. Still no Ginny Wren.

5th May. Bill, Charley & Sid for breakfast 1st as usual along with Bobbin & his young. The babies look so different with their brown breasts. Managed to work in the garden today. Pulled up all the forget-me-nots as they were very scruffy! More planting needed now! As soon as I turned my back the garden is full of birds again. So many babies it’s lovely. Well Billy’s been back & forth all morning but guess what a 3rd baby has accompanied him! I don’t believe it. Steady on Bill I’m running out of names! I did wonder as I saw him dropping down the other side of our fence with a mouthful of mealworms on several occasions yesterday. Watch this space!

6th May. Wet & a little windy. Bill + 3 for breakfast. No. 3 very shy. Not like Bill at all. He often comes into the garden room & sits beside me whilst I’m writing. We think no. 3 will be a girl. Name? Not sure at this point. Still no Ginny. Please let her be safe.

7th May. Disaster! No mealworms left after Billy’s lot have been for breakfast. We are on 4 pots a week now & struggling with demand! Nick had to go to Mark Cross as soon as the delivery arrived to pick them up to feed our hungry broods. At least they will be fresh. All wiggly in the pots!

8th May. Horrid day! Wet & humid. We have to go to the cemetery to lay a cross on my Dads grave. Where have these 4yrs. Gone He loved his birds too. Bill & brood are back & forth feeding on mealworms & the woodpeckers are too.

9th May. Billy is being chased off now by his babies so he comes in the garden room to eat his meal worms. Woodpeckers are around a lot today and eating from the ground feeder. One of them also comes to the window feeders every day now. I have to sit really still as not to frighten him. Clematis coming out. I so love them. Nuthatch has come with a baby! How lovely is that? She’s been feeding it from the birdhouse. So sweet. Bills arrived & fighting back. Probably decided he gets fed too well to give up his patch. I will feed him & the three babies in different places in the garden & hope they will behave!

10th May. Wet cold & windy! Fed Bill early inside & put food down for his three.

11th May. One of the baby woodpeckers flew into the garden room door & fell to the ground so I put it into a basket of tissue & left it to rest. It flew off after about 20 mins. All was well! Apart from that birds galore all day feeding happily.

12th May Running out of meal worms. Haven’t seen the woodpecker today. Hope he’s ok. Re-composted my trough ready for planting. Nuthatch around a lot, feeding from hangers & window feeders. Beautiful bird.

13th May. Woodpecker & nuthatch very often. Bills never far away! Rain on & off all day.

14th May. Hooray! Meal worm day. Nick rushed off to pick them up. A garden full of very happy Blackbirds & robins!

15th May Bill was 1st in the queue for breakfast as usual, followed by bobbin & baby, the usual blue tits & finches.

16th May. All normal in the garden today. Weather good.

17th May. Bertha is back much to Billy’s annoyance! She’s brought her boy so Bills busy chasing them around the garden. Charlie & Sidney appear to see what’s going on. On their arrival Bertha & boy leave. Bill clucks a lot! Enter Bobbin looking a little nervous.

18th May. Nice morning. The garden has a lovely perfume from the newly opened roses. Jenny’s honeysuckle climbing over to us & more clematis opening. Looking very pretty. Bill’s decided to eat indoors this morning collecting more than enough meal worms. Oh no, does that mean another brood?

19th May. Another beautiful morning. There’s a real buzz in the garden with so many birds hanging off of the feeders. Flitting around more than normal. Have the blue tits had another brood? I think yes! I’ve spotted tiny babies being fed by mum. There is always about 7 or 8 inside the hanging cage feeders but today I can’t count them!

20th May. Bill, (goes without saying) for breakfast, nuthatch & woodpeckers around ducking & diving before it gets too busy. Bobbin in & out very speedily this morning. Wonder why.

21st May. Busy in the garden from 5.30 am today. The woodpeckers have demolished a suet square in less than a morning! Bertha comes briefly then goes with the sound of Bills squawks!

22nd May. Spotted Great tits with babies today. Wonderful! So pretty. About 5 of them. Was standing on a chair in the garden talking to Jenny over the fence when suddenly Billy landed an inch in front of my face with a beak bursting with wriggly worms just staring at me! What a brilliant photo it would have made. He really is a character.

23rd May. There seems to be more activity from the rustic bird box. Could there be another nest going on? We have 4 boxes up & a camera box which unfortunately went up too late for the birds to get used to it so is empty (next year we hope) & we think all 4 have been used (definitely 3) roll on September when we can get them down to see.

24th May. Wet & very dull. Bill zipped down as soon as he heard the door open. He’s forever feeding his young. Such a fab dad. Nick thinks there are another family of Blue tits. We will be financially ruined soon but worth every penny! Lots of activity as usual as we have so many birds in the garden now.

25th May. Nice morning. Was wondering about my Ginny wren today. She was so sweet & I managed to get her quite tame, to come up to the door & eat meal worms. So tiny. Where are you Ginny?

26th May. Dreary day but it doesn’t stop Bill from coming for his usual trips back & forth. Nick spotted 3 baby goldfinches on the feeders this morning. Our first lot! 2 sparrows have appeared with mum who is very wary of so much activity. They normally stay in the front garden. Wonder what they’ll do.

27th May. Woodpecker very early this morning going around all the feeders. Bills just hopped in for his breakfast & decided to sit at my feet whilst I’m writing this. Funny boy. The garden is getting busier & noisier every day with so many birds feeding. Love to watch them.

28th May. So many fluff balls on legs! More gold finches & a few green finches. Blue tit parents in & out of rustic box with food. Definitely more babies in there. They can have 4 or 5 broods because they often don’t all survive I guess because they are so tiny. I still miss my Ginny & wonder if she had any babies.

29th May. My Bobbin here early this morning. She missed her supper last night so I guess she was hungry. Billy & not so young babies came all together for breakfast this morning. So nice to see them as a family instead of rivals rooting for the same spot. After a grey start it’s a lovely afternoon. Everyone’s good. A lot of singing going on!

30th May. The new blue tits still with yellow chests flexing their tiny wings shaping up to each other. I wonder how many of them will survive. I can’t even think about it. They have become so much a part of our lives.

31st May. Saw my first baby green finch today. Fantastic. Don't know how many others there are. Will have to watch. Juvenile woodpeckers around with dad up & down from the garden to the trees. A pretty sight. Such beautiful creatures but so shy. Bill & Charlie around together a lot today. As is my Bobbin & hers. Perhaps their final lessons on survival! Which brings me to the end of a fabulous month at 3, Byschool cottages. How privileged we have been to experience nature so closely. We hope that our Billy will stay with us during the winter months & even his little Charlie if he allows her. They have become such a huge part of our lives.

Denise & Nick