Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Do You Ever Stop, Look And Listen in Your Garden?

I went out this morning to fill up the bird feeders and to add a new one. It has been so cold here lately and we have had hard frosts and snow and high winds I am concerned for the birds. It was really cold so I did not intend to stay out long, although I was well wrapped up. 


However, I walked back up to the house I was struck by the most beautiful bird song. I saw the robin high up on one of the shrubs clearly and proudly singing his little heart out. No doubt starting to re establish his territory.


I heard other birds, sparrows I think, a blackbird, a coo of a wood pigeon. As I stood still and silent I began to hear more and it was the most wonderful orchestra of birdsong. I thought people would pay to go sit in theatres to hear this most stunning of music and here it is all around me. 


As I stood there silent and perfectly still I noticed a large male blackbird nearby. He was intent of kicking up the leaves and searching for food underneath. He looked at me but was not afraid. He walked and hopped and continued in his search for food, gradually getting closer and closer to me. I could feel my heart break quicken, how close was he going to come to me?


 He ended up literally inches from my feet, no sign of nervousness, just going about his day. I often wonder when I see a blackbird in our garden if it is one of the descendants of the blackbird nest that hatched four chicks several years ago. We watched them from the building of the nest to eggs and fledglings and young adults. If you are interested I wrote about it here Our Nesting Blackbirds.



 My husband and I often joke that it is not really our garden at all, it is theirs, we just get to be guests in it now and again ! Today that felt true and wonderful!

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I watched the blue tits and all manner of little birds squabble for a place on the feeder, the big woodpigeon looking perplexed that he could not actually fit on the feeder and eventually taking his place underneath to catch all the spilled seed instead.


 The brave blue tit who was first to do a fly by and then land on the new feeder- just for a second- to test it out no doubt, then came back and rewarded with fresh delicious seed. 


Then as I started to not be able to feel my feet through the cold I noticed a bird fly down and hop up into the bird bath. It was about to brave the cold to take a bath to preen and clean the feathers and get into good condition. It must have been so icy cold and it started somewhat tentatively dipping the beak, then a foot, then the chest and then plunged in!


Then it was flapping and washing itself all over, it looked a lot of fun! It was over quickly. Then preened the feathers out carefully using the beak and with a bit of last minute fluffing out off it flew. 




Back into the house for a warm coffee and warm feet! Made me realise that you really do not have to go far to see the beauty of nature.


 However what you do need to do is to rest to be still, to be quiet, to appreciate it all...  I am often guilty of being very busy in the garden. There is always pruning, digging, planting, weeding etc to do. 


However, maybe this year I will take more time to be still, be quiet, to look, to listen. 


How about you do you take time to be still and look and listen in your garden?  

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