Well, over the last couple of days, the weather has improved here. Whilst its still cold overnight (down to -0.2C in the polytunnel), the days have become bright and sunny. The birds around our garden have decided that spring must be on the way and are actively pairing up, chasing each other around, looking for places to nest and things to eat.
There are a lot of birds about: blue tits; great tits; long tailed tits; coal tits; a pair of nuthatches; greater spotted woodpeckers (they’ve started sounding off having found a hollow tree branch which sounds across a wide area); jays; blackbirds; robins; etc., etc.. The really good news is that we’ve had a couple of bluetits looking in the new bird box (well we actually noticed one coming out so that means that hopefully they will be nestbuilding soon).
The amusing sight was a stand-off between a Crow and the Sparrowhawk. I managed to get a picture with my trusty point and shoot camera but as it was at about 50 yards and through a window, the quality isn’t fantastic (also apologies for the fence around the pond, it was originally put up to make sure that grandchildren didn’t fall in and has never been taken down). They sat there for quite some time trying to outstare each other across the width of the pond. It eventually resolved itself when another Crow flew down and the Sparrowhawk decided that discretion was the better part of valour and departed over the fence.
We’ve seen the Sparrowhawk quite a few times over the last few weeks so I feel he must be looking to set up home in the vicinity. We can but hope.
As well as the birds, the flowers are beginning to show and I’m starting to sow peppers, tomatoes will be sown in a couple of weeks.
If you go to our website (here), you’ll see descriptions of the 70 or so different varieties of tomatoes that I’m going to try and sow this year. The real problem for me will be growing all the varieties, the greenhouses and polytunnel have space for about 90 plants and I’d like to grow more than one of each.