Gardening - Life Lessons

Gardening on Lockdown – Phase 2

The Joy of Nature

I don’t know if it is my age or if the lock-down that has shown me a new appreciation for nature in the garden. Maybe it is a combination of both.  A frequent visitor to the garden is a Robin, collecting insects and worms, we assumed for it’s partner sitting on a nest, as it would alternate between eating its catch, and flying off with it.  Over time, it looked bedraggled, so we could tell he was feeding young.  The first sign he was feeding young, a fledgling Robin perched on the handrail on the steps up to the garden.  I looked straight at the fledgling, and it appeared to look straight at me, chirped, and then proceeded to fly straight into the window with a thud, promptly bouncing off and landed in some long grass on the bank!!  Luckily it was ok, and it flew off following it’s parent.

We’ve also had a family of Goldfinches visiting the Garden, as well as Blackbirds, Jackdaws, Magpies and the occasional Rook.

Before the blood, sweat and swearing!

Well, the next event happened whilst I was in the process of phase two of the garden transformation.  I had to extend the veg patch to house the runner beans that were eagerly waiting to be planted out.  Obviously, digging soil brings worms to the surface, and birds like worms!  But, what happened next was totally unexpected.  

Now, I know Robins are fairly tame, but our garden Robin exceeded expectations.  He flew down to where I was digging and proceeded to pick out the worms I had unearthed.  I just stood still, and let him circle around me, harvesting his paid-load!  He would then fly off, and come back again.  

Then later, a Blackbird arrived, and did the exact same thing, but every now and again he would lean to the side and look at me, whilst I was standing still watching him.  Blackbird flew off, and the Robin returned, with one of its fledglings.  I was less than 2 feet from them, again I just remained still and let them proceed with the worm collection.  They then flew off up into the hedge at the top of the garden.  

After a few thousand calories burned!

I carried on with the digging, and once I had got to the stage of putting up the framework for the Runner Beans, I was crouched down planting the Runner Bean seedlings, interspersed with Sweet Peas, and two Blackbirds appeared.  It looked like a Father and a youngster, as one still had a few fluffy feathers on its side.  They started picking out worms from the soil, and when the young one got too close to me, the Father flapped and squawked at him, telling him to back-off.  The Father went around in front of me and continued to get more worms.  They were foraging for a good few minutes, then just flew away.  It was so lovely to experience them being so close, although I didn’t make any sudden movements to scare them, I just slowly turned my head to watch what they were doing.

I will try to get photos of my feathered gardening buddies, but they are often too quick to capture on camera!

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