Wildlife and gardens…..trying to keep up

Have a quick look at the birds on the feeder outside the kitchen window.

Over the years I have released dozens of doves, which have successfully bred with the feral pigeons I’ve released, producing some seriously, pretty crosses, and an ever-growing flock for me to feed.

The white bird has a few black spots on it’s back, while the feral pigeon has white wings. There are about twenty now who clearly show their dove lineage. Eventually that dove gene will disappear, and the feral gene will dominate. They are all rock pigeons after all.

This blackbird has to be the scruffiest I have ever seen. Most of his tail feathers are missing and he has many bald spots, feather mite I think. After his winter moult, his feathers should grow back again.

Despite his tatty appearance, he is an excellent father and is now feeding his second brood with my strawberries……I’m leaving them uncovered, he needs them more than me. I’ve noticed that the blackbirds start feeding their chicks fruit when they are about ten days old.

Herring gull season is now upon us! We have a sudden run on chicks; they are utterly adorable at this age, cute, tame and spotty. In a few weeks they will become demons who specialize in hanging off our fingers.

They are also INCREDIBLY messy! Their crates need cleaning several times a day.

Every inch of space is now taken up with chicks, thankfully most are beginning to feed themselves.

Just as some of the adult hogs are being released, babies are arriving, these liit’uns can feed themselves but need to go home with staff each night to ensure they are warm enough. They just need their heat-pads topping up.

On the garden front,

Monarda are coming into flower, I do love these flowers.

It’s that time of the year when the garden runs away with itself. I cannot keep up. As fast as I weed one border the previous one fills with weeds.

 I have been battling the ivy on this fence, it has suddenly become an impenetrable thicket, it’s taking ages as I have to cut carefully to avoid any nests that may be in there.

The Lemon is flowering……oh, the scent….

and the Hostas remain hole-free, God bless the frogs!

Sculptures are disappearing…..

and a small miracle has come to pass, a rust-free Hollyhock! Struth!

And Finally….

There be seventy pears on this tiny tree!

Yes….I counted, I’m sad like that!

  36 comments for “Wildlife and gardens…..trying to keep up

  1. July 3, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Your garden is a real haven for wildlife – although I can understand the need to keep some control before it turns into a veritable jungle – our ivy is the same but sparrows nest in it and wrens – it is hard to keep a balance isn’t it.

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      We are having the front drive re-paved so the ivy has to go as it comes out about six foot. I am cutting carefully just in case there are any birds still raising chicks, so far so good. There is plenty more in the garden. The birds do love it don’t they?xxx

  2. Jo
    July 3, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Oh, you are a softie, giving up your strawberries for the blackbirds. I’m like that myself, they’ve had the lot off my cherry tree. What you said about the herring gulls made me laugh, funny how quickly they can change, make the most of them now whilst they’re still cute. Wow, I think it’s a good year for pears for you, don’t tell me you’re going to leave those for the birds too.

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      I seem to have lost all my cherries too, but they are sour so the birds are welcome to them. Oh….herring gulls become monsters so quickly, once they are in the water aviary they calm down. If only we had more water aviaries! Hubs always beats the birds to the pears! They don’t stand a chance.xxx

  3. July 3, 2017 at 11:22 am

    You are a softie! I’m keeping my strawberries. I’m impressed with your pears. My weeds are likewise getting out of hand. Everything is growing so well this year, it’s hard to keep up.

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      It’s always hard keeping up at this time of the year, why do those darn weeds grow twice as fast as everything else?xxx

  4. July 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. xx

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks Flighty.xxx

  5. July 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    That is extremely charitable sacrificing the strawberries. Ours are netted but we share, raspberries, blackcurrants, jostaberries and tayberries so don’t feel too mean.

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Sounds like the birds are getting plenty from you. They have devoured the loganberries here along with the cherries and strawberries….they certainly are quick of the mark!xxx

  6. July 3, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I know what you mean about fighting to keep up. The weeds are loving our near constant rain! At least the damp soil makes them a bit easier to pull out.

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      It’s a real battle at the moment isn’t it, and so many plants need dead-heading and cutting back….a full time job!xxx

  7. July 3, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    A happy garden and lots of loved animals – I bet the Garden of Eden had lots of weeds too – they probably thought they were pretty plants then!!! 😉

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      You have me smiling, beauty is in the eye of the beholder methinks, pollinators seem to love weeds!xxx

  8. Kitty
    July 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Ah, Dina! The garden looks like all your love and gifts are coming to fruition most beautifully! I love that pink monarda…just planted a new Purple Rooster variety this year to go with my raspberry monarda…I’ll have to look for that sweet pink one, too!

    And a rust-free hollyhock is really amazing! I do love them so.

    The birds are all gorgeous, and the wee chicks you tend are so blessed by your care…think of all the lives you’ve fostered and that have flourished because of you! I do, with a grateful heart.

    Blessings on all your you touch and may your lovely, lovely garden renew your heart and spirit. 🙂

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment Kitty. Monarda is just gorgeous isn’t it, the pink one is the prettiest for sure! I’m always amazed to see a hollyhock around here without rust, several others have come out now, all clear too. Wonders never cease eh? Hoping you and all your babies are enjoying the garden!xxxx

  9. July 3, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Super garden for wildlife…..a joy to behold and enjoy. Pleasure to browse your posts D! Hugs!💕

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks so much Bushka.xxx

  10. July 3, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Lots of pear recipes in the offing!! Pear Helene is a distinct possibility.

    Those messy Herring Gull chick cages must be practice for the mobbing they will do as adults.

    The Doves/Pigeons make an interesting point about evolution (or devolution) of and within a species.

    Nice post. xxxx

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Oh yum…yes, Pear Helene should definitely be on the menu. It’s always interesting seeing the crosses between doves and pigeons, shame the dove gene loses out in the end. Thanks Menhir.xxx

  11. July 3, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I didn’t realise doves and feral pigeons could cross breed like that. We have very pretty dove pigeons, but they could do with cross-breeding with any bird that could give them some common sense! I was interested in your blackbird, and that the male (both parents?) feed them fruit, early on…I’m inclined to share fruit with the birds too, they have tough little lives just surviving. The baby hedgehogs are beyond cute! (I guess not if they pop up in the garden)…well your garden is flourishing and I love the hollyhock, it looks gorgeous!

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      It sounds like our doves are a little brighter than yours, shame they have the dove eventually bred out of them though, it’s nice seeing a little variety in pigeons. Yes, both parents always start feeding their chicks fruit when they are about ten days old. Thanks Gerrie.xxx

  12. veggiemummy
    July 3, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I know what you mean about the weeds – we’ve just returned from our holiday and they seem to have taken over! Your wildlife photos are all gorgeous and I’m very envious of your slug free hostas. xx

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks Veggiemummy. The garden does become a jungle around this time, sighs…. I am most grateful to those frogs!xxx

  13. July 4, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    I was interested to see the lemon flowers. Nothing doing on our little lemon trees, but they’re still small specimens. I feel sorry for that blackbird if it has mites that irritate it. Mr Blackbird in our garden is entertaining as he flies around nearly always with some kind of food in his beak and Mrs Blackbird is nearby too. 🙂

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      Here’s to you getting some lemons next year, the flowers are so fragrant aren’t they. I’m hoping for a dozen or so lemons this year, fingers crossed the fruitlets don’t fall off. A garden isn’t a garden without blackbirds is it? xxx

  14. July 5, 2017 at 1:24 am

    I hope those pears ripen nicely for you. Our Monarda is also blooming right now. I wish I could smell the scent of those lemon flowers. And the herring gull chicks are indeed very cute!

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      The pairs are coming along beautifully. I just love the scent of those lemon flowers, absolutely gorgeous. If only the gulls stayed cute!! Thanks Jason.xxx

  15. July 5, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Hi Dear Dina…..your posts always bring a smile to my face. I hope that you and the critters are enjoying the warm summer weather….and I look forward to seeing you again sometime in the Autumn I hope. Currently I am organise the funeral of my dear Aunt Peggy who passed aged 97….and what a life she has lead…..I am the only surviving relative on that side of the family which is a real wake up call to live every single moment to the full…..which I know you already do:) Sending love Janet xxxx

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Janet, good to see you home. Can’t wait until we catch up again, you are most welcome here. Bless your aunt, she sounds just wonderful, good to hear she had a long fulfilled life. I hope all goes as well as it can. Take good care of you.xxx

  16. July 6, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Fantastic images. The birds are really lucky to be in your place. Summer in the north and freezing down here. One of the coldest late autumn/early winter I can recall here for many a year

    • Snow Bird
      July 9, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks Peter. Sorry to hear about your awful weather, hope it perks up soon.xxx

  17. July 10, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Speaking of trying to keep up — here I am, a full week after your post. Goodness — you’d think I could do better than that. I’ll blame it on the holiday, and my decision to take two full days to just roam with my camera. Yes, that’s the ticket!

    We’re in full summer here, with fruit and flowers ripening everywhere. Your pears look luscious. I’m not so fond of pears to eat, but I love their shape, and usually have a few around just to decorate the fruit bowl.

    I found Monarda growing wild last week, and hope to get back to photograph it. I think it’s the spotted beebalm; quite lovely, really. And I just adore your hollyhock. We had those when I was a kid, and I made dolls from the blooms every year. It was such fun, and I miss it. No hollyhocks in south Texas, I fear.

    I can’t for the life of me remember now where I bumped into hedgehogs, but I remember thinking about you when I did. They are such cute little babes. The herring gulls? When they’re grown, I’m no so fond of them, since they seem to enjoy eating baby ducks, but their own babies are delightful.

    I’m putting halved grapes and raisins out for the mockingbirds, now. Like your blackbird, they have babies old enough for such, and it seems they have roaring appetites. Those parents do nothing but tote food, all day long!

    • Snow Bird
      July 21, 2017 at 6:20 pm

      Time does fly doesn’t it? I seem to have a problem keeping up too….I look up and another week has raced by. How wonderful that you bumped into hedgehogs and thought of me! They really are odd little creatures, odd but adorable. How I wish we had some of your birds!!!xxx

  18. lowcarbdiabeticJan
    July 11, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    So nice to see your photo’s of the birds, your garden and your pear tree.
    What a lovely lot of fruit.

    All the best Jan

  19. Snow Bird
    July 21, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks Jan, we always seem to have good fruit harvests.xxx

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