River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Runnin' On

May 2004

Janet makes the editor upset 'cos he destroyed his Pampus fronds without knowing that the birds needed them!

"Runnin' On".

With all this lovely warm weather we are enjoying at the moment we usually have our coffee breaks in the garden, the birds take no notice of us but we get a lot of pleasure watching them.

On a visit to Eastbourne a couple of years ago we had a long chat to my Auntie Flo, chatting about the things our garden birds get up to. Auntie said she was looking forward to the spring time, then she told us that most of the small birds who came to her garden used the Pampas Grass fluff to line their nests every year.

We had never seen our birds gathering Pampas Grass at all but this year they have done just that. Never shy sparrows and blue tits must have the softest nest linings for their young. We sat on the garden bench and watched two blue tits sharing a pampas spear, they flew away with their beaks full and returned after a while. No doubt their nest is really cosy now.

Its nice to think that pampas grass that was starting to look a trifle tired has made the nests in our area a warm haven for our feathered visitors. I'm going to take more notice in future and make a proper list of our visitors. We get a lot of blue tits, sparrows and robins too. I'll have to spend more time bird watching while I wash up, I will have to be careful and check that I get the dishes clean while I indulge in the nature study.

If my Auntie Flo hadn't told me about her garden birds I wonder if I would have noticed the nesting material ritual at all. It seems strange that neither Mr T nor I have seen our little feathered visitors lining their nests before.

While I'm on the subject of the birds, there have been no woodpeckers for years, we used to enjoy the antics of our colourful visitors. I haven't heard any tapping in the area at all, I hope they haven't been shot and made into trophies. I'm did once tell someone just what I thought of him for having a bird killed and stuffed as a trophy!

Mr T. has been very busy paint spraying lately, I have been watching out for unusual insects in the garden ever since. Some years ago we lived in a caravan, there were only a few other caravans in the field, all the small children played happily and safely and coffee was served on a casual rota system.

One summer our next door neighbour decided to spruce up his caravan, he settled on a petty light blue paint and on the next dry day he sprayed the 'van a petty pale blue. It made the van look very smart, but there was an unexpected consequence. I noticed our garden was being visited by really exotic insects, the only thing I did recognise about the insects was their colour. I'd never seen baby blue daddy long legs until that day. Everyone on the caravan site kept a keen lookout for the unusual daddy long legs for the rest of the summer!

That's all for this month, remember to watch out for the birds in your pampas patch.

Janet Tilburn.

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