Feeling the Glow

The sun kept hidden for most of today but popped out for a quick display before going to bed

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The Birds and The Bees

Avian amour is all around.

We think we have three male Pied Flycatchers. That might not be as simple as three pairs as they are known for their polygyny.

This one

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has a prime beat for flying insects – over the compost heaps.

House sparrows, on the other hand, are monogamous but are meant to like social nesting sites. In spite of having this box available to supply that facility for many years this is the first time it has been fully utilised

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Strange pairings are occurring in the duck run with each of these Muscovy drakes having struck up a relationship with an Aylesbury duck

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This pair have mated for life and aren’t going anywhere

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We lost our bee colony to wasps late last summer, which was a sad end particularly as they had survived being buried in snow earlier that year.

A few weeks ago a replacement colony arrived and today we were able to add a second

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and at the same time our mentor helped us mark the Queen in the first hive

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Perfect May

When May decides to deliver a few perfect days, just like the ones in dreams and the imaginary past, feelings can be mixed.

Having waited six months for days like these there can be anxiety that now they have arrived are we making the most of them. Plus the feeling that what ever the year does from now on it cannot match this heady mix of sun, song and super-growth.

On the whole it is probably better not to think too much and just absorb moments like these:

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Still welcome an evening fire though…

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Liquid song falls down by moonlight

There was a time when, along with many other “garden” birds, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes seemed ubiquitous, taken for granted, not worthy of remark.

While the Government has a decline of 16% in Blackbirds between 1970 and 2014 it records Song Thrush numbers to have been cut by more than half. The RSPB lists the conservation status of the Song Thrush as Red.

We are overrun with Blackbirds, this year seemingly more than ever as they contest for territory. At twilight today:

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the wood is full of the sound of anxious Blackbirds, shrieking at shadows as they sort themselves out for roosting. But above their fretting we can hear a sweeter sound:

as we are proud to share our space with the Song Thrush

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In fact, for the first time ever, we have two pairs so they need to sing very loudly to make it clear who owns which bit.

In other bird news today, after dropping in and out for a few days a pair of swallows

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seem to be settling in – visiting the inside of the house, the inside of the workshop… soon they will remember that it is the woodshed they want.

Plus, since we have had (nearly) a whole day without rain, the ducks decide they need a good bath

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Telling the Bees

Today we needed special clothing

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as we prepared for new arrivals

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Our previous colony, having survived this

last summer succumbed to a wasp invasion later in the year.

We will be less tolerant of wasp nests this year to protect our new colony

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Roof on

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and time to explore their new home

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before setting off in search of supplies

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