Not a gardening day today. It's grey, wet, cold and muddy out there and I don't think anyone who could choose, would be outside rather in by the fire.
In fact, it's the perfect day to start out on a new blog while watching the birds from the window. Over the last week or so our cherry tree has become the focus of attention from the garden's birds, or actually the thick covering of ivy that grows up the trunk to a height that's way above my head.
Throughout the day blackbirds, a couple of woodpigeons and a song thrush have been busy in the dense leaves of this ivy (Hedera helix) that covers most of the tree. They rustle about inside the dense foliage throughout daylight hours.
Every now and again one of the berry-gatherers will pop out for a moment for a quick look around before going back for more fruit. Together the mixed flock can forage in relative safety.Purple-tinted droppings are scattered around on the grass under the tree and the nearby shed, evidence of just how much birds are relying on the little black berries at the moment. Ivy berries are very energy-dense - comparable with a Mars bar apparently . The fact that they ripen so late in the winter - long after other wild fruit has been eaten - makes it a must-have wildlife garden plant.