Monday 3 May 2010

Garden wildlife

On Saturday I took a trip down to Kent to visit my parents. The have the most fantastic garden - when they moved into the house it was the equivalent of a plowed field, over the last decade they have landscape and planted and made a beautiful oasis.
One of my favourite things about their garden are the huge patio doors which allow you to sit in the living room and watch the garden wildlife in comfort and in all weathers (yes, it was raining on Saturday too).
The male blackbird who lives in my parent's garden is fantastically territorial. He will chase off all comers, bigger or smaller than him, weather or not he wants to eat. He spent a good deal of time hopping around trying to keep ahead of all the other visitors!
My favourite moment was whilst he was sitting in a tree having a quick preen and wiping his beak on the branch. This was interrupted by his Mrs Blackbird who landed next to him. She let out a volley of chirps at which point Mr Blackbird flew off. Henpecked husbands, even in the avian world!
Rather like our garden my parents also have a selection of wood pigeons, regular pigeons and collared doves. We spent a while watching these two, obviously courting. The female plays hard to get (left) whilst the male (right) struts around putting on a show. They chased each other from tree to tree and eventually landed on the lawn.

I'm not usually fond of mice - especially when they take up residence in my kitchen; however this little field mouse is rather cuter than his house mouse cousins. He takes full advantage of the messy eaters on the table, tray and feeders above. He appears to live somewhere in the far corner of the patio, after stopping and eating a bit he collects another piece and runs off with it, perhaps taking it home to a family of mice?

The only thing my parents garden lacks is pond life; their recently refurbished pond has yet to be inhabited. Maybe next year?