Monday, 9 December 2013

All quiet

For the first time in weeks it was quiet when I went out to the dustbin this morning. Nothing happening on the far side of the hedge, so presumably every scrap of apple has now been eaten.
Over the hedge opposite our back door there's an apple tree in our neighbour's garden and this year she left the crop untouched. At first blackbirds came to eat the fruit while it was still in the banches, but as time has gone on it has dropped to the ground and they've been spending all day, every day, feasting at ground level.
I've enjoyed hearing the sounds of them clucking to one another and rustling about in amongst the fallen leaves has been. Though it's been frustrating not to be able to see the party - the hedge is dense, dark Leylandii.
Photo: Adam Kumiszcza
Then last week the change in the weather brought fieldfares to us for the first time and they joined the action. For the last few days the rustling and clucking stepped up a gear, but now all's quiet; have they eaten the lot? 

Off on a bit of a tangent, I have to say that the latest State of the UK's Birds report makes depressing reading. It makes me feel ancient that species that were common-all-garden when I first started birdwatching as a child are now under threat.
The RSPB's Dr Mark Eaton says of the report "many of the birds we're referring to aren't rare and don't occur in remote locations... they are ones you used to see while walking the dog or enjoying a family picnic". We're all the poorer for allowing the change to go unchecked.


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