So much activity around the sheds at the moment, and not just me chipping away. The pigeon family have now hatched two young, I climbed up yesterday to take a quick peek into the owl box, and there were two wobbly pinkish beautifully ugly baby birds. The blue-tit young are very noisy, constantly cheeping for food. The parents go back and forth to the Sycamore tree, beaks full of insects - so I thought I would take a closer look to see what they were eating. Lots of greenfly are available.
While there I noticed that the leaves have become covered with red and green pimples - I've seen these before and never known what they are. Apparently they are leaf-galls - caused by miniscule mites which feed on sycamore leaves. Each red gall marks a spot where a mite has fed. The females over-winter in crevices in the bark, emerging in spring to feed on the new leaves. Where they feed, galls develop, each mite being responsible for many galls.