Nesting Boxes in my Mother’s garden

Been a while but not to worry 🙂 . Whether my seasonal Calendar agrees with me or not, this weekend feels like the first days of Spring, a low warming Sun has lifted air temperatures and I even walked the dog without wearing a coat for the first time this year………………… as an aside 20 million Brits have now been vaccinated (including moi), Covid-19 cases appear to be dropping, or maybe it’s the lovely weather but life seems ok at present…… finger’s crossed!

Oh yes returning to my theme of today’s Posting, my mother now has 4 bird Nesting Boxes in her garden and attached to side walls. I know because I constructed them from oddments of timber and erected in various positions earlier this year and joy of joys for my mother, because she loves her garden flighted visitors, Blue Tits have begun visiting one Nesting Box with hopefully a view to laying eggs and raising a family.

But first and pictured below are 3 species of birds regularly visiting British suburban gardens, or I should say 3 species that regularly take residence, the Blue Tit, Robin and Pied Wagtail.

Blue Tit (Stock image)
Pied Wagtail (Stock image)
Robin (Stock image)

I’m no ornithological expert but if you place these timber constructions around you garden either side of Christmas then with a little luck mother nature hopefully will provide, and as you’d imagine my mother gains great pleasure from watching and feeding her feathered friends……….. I may even buy her a pair of cheapish binoculars from Amazon, yes that seems a good idea. Anyways before I meander off topic below you’ll see photos captured this fine Sunday morning. Incidentally I don’t wish to get tooo technical but Nesting Boxes are very species specific, a Blue Tit prefers stand alone Boxes with a 25mm entrance hole (32mm for Sparrows), but not Robins or Wagtails who will only use the open front design……………….. and if you have densely foliaged bushes then just may have Blackbirds build a nest therein!

Oh and I’ve included a photo of mum’s garden feeder (resembles a Hat Stand), great for hanging bags of nut and attracting hungry birds who just might be house hunting?

Pictured above is my pride and joy, I constructed this timber design specifically favoured by Robins, a beautiful red breasted garden bird that can be so tame that they’ll feed from a person’s hand…………………… or so the wildlife books tell us………………oh and notice the position, whereas Blue Tits prefer open space boxes attached to poles, Robins prefer nesting within deep foliage. Apparently!

Picture above I placed an open fronted Nesting Box favoured by Robins or who knows the pair of Pied Wagtails that visit and feed, wildlife are fickle animals, you never know we might be lucky although March is leaving it late.

Pictured above and attached to a side wall is a second nesting box specifically for Blue Tits, might be lucky you never know.

HOWEVER every story has villain of the piece, over the past decade or so and as more open farmland’s been turned over by housebuilder’s excavating equipment, another bird species attracted by warm blooded protein has colonised suburbia as it’s own, and the results are savage and definitely not pretty. Below you see an all to common sight in British Towns the evil eyed Sparrowhawk, a small bird of prey that yes feeds on Robins, Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Wagtails……………… you could say Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection and yes a beautiful if brutal feeder. That being said I have seen one particular Sparrowhawk perched on a fence dividing gardens, a savage feeder yet striking bird of prey, you either embrace and appreciate its beauty or anger yourself over ‘what may have been’s’?

A. Shepherdson 2021

Easter ‘Bluebells’ and our Pet Dog

Readers to this WordPress may be aware the walk from the housing estate I live upon, through to our Town centre is by means of a tree lined Lane which later divides a grassy Common. A lovely walk in all weathers, fun when there’s snow on the ground, glorious in springtime or sunny summers days, and I even love the driving icy rain on cold Winter mornings as I walk to work! 

Below you’ll see photos of wildBluebells’ growing alongside the Lane’s pathway, they looked beautiful bathed in this evening’s dimming low sun, so I ‘snapped’ a selection of photos below adding three of our family pet dog taken Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

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‘Bluebells’ growing in the wild

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Holly buttercups and pools of water! Part2

I borrow my mum’s collie Holly at ever opportune moment, we all love our animals whatever they may be and perhaps owning a pet is our last tentative connection to being part of mother nature? 🙂 Isn’t it odd that I feel the urge to owning a dog……………… do they fulfil some primeval need so which is it? Companion friend or just that they are utterly devoted to their owner?

Hmm how would a blog fair dedicated solely to my mum’s dog? (Might be more popular than mine? 😀 )…………….. btw I won’t be but it’s an interesting thought all the same!

The photo below shows Holly adores being in the countryside, her brain is alive and thinking and I love the way even in a 3 hour walk she’ll always stay close, never stray and keep me in her sights.

Holly indentation and Windrush valley 019

There’s a guy at work called ‘Dave the plumber’, a lovely colleague who likes joking around and taking the ‘micky’ out of me, I should explain that’s light hearted ribbing to you foreigners, well at one point in our conversation he said,

“Andy you must be the last person alive who still uses a digital camera!”, I thought for a second or two, and yes perhaps I am because EVERYONE I know takes photos using a tablet or mobile phone! Hmm but are each as good as the other?

I’m NOT going to write a comparison test “yawn”, but looking again at the photos uploaded and displayed on Holly buttercups and pools of water, my previous post, I have to be bluntly honest and say in my own humble opinion, I think my little digital camera captures pretty good images.

I hope you take a peek at the linked post (part 1) because then part 2 (this post) has a context and additional point of view, and lol saves me repeating the exact same text again. So if you’d like to see several more photographs taken from my afternoon walking Holly the collie, I’ve included them all below and all snapped in what’s affectionately known as ‘The Indentation!’

Pictured below I’m standing on the edge looking down into the ‘bowl’ which incidentally has been known to flood 2 feet deep!

Holly indentation and Windrush valley 002Holly indentation and Windrush valley 008

Looking closely at photographs from both posts, I’m hoping you’ll understand the reason why this small piece of wasteland came to be known by residents as ‘The Indentation’, and yes you’ve guessed correct it’s shaped similar to a large bowl and lies below the level of all the surrounding houses, simply because at times of sudden heavy rainfall, say an electric thunderstorm, excess water is piped into this manmade bowl and stops people’s homes being flooded out! The beautiful consequence of a designed civil engineering functionality is the basin is constantly replenished with clean life giving water, it’s not stagnant, and as we all know, wherever in the world water comes in contact with the land then nature thrives………… and buttercups have taken hold in this moist soil also toads no doubt sourced from resident’s garden ponds!

Here endeth the natural history lesson.

I guess for those readers who live in America, would you say ‘The Indentation’ is another name for a ‘Storm Drain?’

Lol who cares 😀 , I think this wildlife haven is fabulous! And don’t you agree the vivid yellow buttercup with its gloss shiny petals is as beautiful as any garden flower?

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Holly indentation and Windrush valley 018

🙂 Now having looked at both posts, do you see this low lying ‘bowl’ with it’s gently inclining sides so as to collect storm water flooding in? Hmm buttercups seem to like this ‘spongy’ moist soil.

A. Shepherdson 2018

Nesting! The Manor House dovecote

Photographs taken by myself April 2018. 🙂

I’m a happy Englishman, 3 weeks ago snow covered my home Town and surrounding countryside, the temperature plunged to -6 degrees, but joy of joys a warm British Spring has finally arrived, I do so hate the cold.

I carry a camera with me everywhere I go, well last Saturday as I approached ‘our Town’s Common’ walking alongside the outer wall of a 16th Century Manor House, part of which is a dovecote.

TV’s Downton Abbey’ is filmed here, you may have heard of it?

I’d noticed earlier a small group of people standing gazing up at the outer wall, so ‘as you do’ I stopped to see what an earth they were looking at and photographing on their mobile phone cameras? And there sat a female white dove on her nest of twigs. (Below)

Dove 001

A very impressive nest of twigs don’t you think, and better still she’s another sign Spring has finally arrived, yay! Incidentally she’s not in the slightest bit phased by the shoppers walking past, I guess our Doves get used to gawping tourists!

Btw if you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘Cotswold Stone’, Century’s ago Churches also village Cottages were constructed using locally mined Cotswold Stone, which begins life a clean sandy yellow but over time many strains of living lichen attach themselves and along with the effects of wind and rain the Stone turns a mixture of greys and honey coloured hews. Tourists (especially the Japanese) travel from right across the Globe specifically to visit Cotswold Stone Villages!

I’ve a soft spot for weathered Cotswold Stone, but then I would say that, home is where the heart is. 🙂

The scenic photograph below was taken at the height of summer of 2017 and shows a picturesque Manor House now from the rear, which err means said Dovecote is unseen because it’s ‘on tuther side!’

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You may have already ‘read’ several Posts on my WordPress, thank you, so you’ll have gathered this Blog possess no one single theme, which means the following Post could be wildlife, cookery, erotica or whatever! There’s no specific reason, it’s just my ‘publishing style lol!

(The following Post is themed Lesbians, you’ve been warned!)

© A. Shepherdson