I am always delighted to receive messages from local residents. Elizabeth and Barrie told me about a blackbird with white patches that they were feeding. In addition, there are starlings, blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, several nuthatches and a great spotted woodpecker all in their garden. There are even hedgehogs still out in January. Madge and John spotted four red kites flying together. I have been feeding my usual robin who will swing on to a hanging feeder now, along with blue tits, the sparrows and a pair of dunnocks. The holly berries are slowly being eaten, but my cotoneaster ones are still hanging along with those on the hedge by the Village Hall.
The flowers on the false caster oil plants, the ivy and the winter honeysuckle are still tempting the bees and flies, but there haven’t been heavy frosts yet. The catkins are dangling on the hazels along Mattock Way and for the first time there were apples on a tree on the verge of the dual carriageway heading towards Tesco.
During one of the fine days I tried to tidy my garden but left the stems of the perennial flowers because the ladybirds need the long stalks in order to climb up to fly. That was a new gardening tip for me ! It looks untidy but I prefer ladybirds to tidiness.
One afternoon, I counted eight pigeons crowded together under a large oak presumably eating the acorns. When those are finished, they can visit my bird feeders, where I have lots of bird seed kindly donated by Marie, who no longer has any birds to feed.