Monday, 29 August 2011

Birds at the Workshop

While getting ready for my exhibition I was watched by one of the pigeon fledglings, who instead of flying free in the big-wide-world, came straight into my workshop, and despite gentle persuasion, remained perched amid the dust and noise.

Eventually yesterday, after the torrential rain the day before, he hopped out through the door and was away.  I felt rather proud.

The swallows are more of a concern - I have a small nest of four newly hatched swallows, another second brood, and I just wonder if it is a little late - already swallows are collecting here on the wires and gathering in the evening in swirling shows of acrobatic finesse.  I think of the great journey they will shortly make, and if the little ones will be old and strong enough.  At least there are many insects, so they should grow fast and the swallow parents probably know perfectly well what they are doing, so I shouldn't worry, but I do.

A seven-spot ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) strutting its stuff. Photograph: Martin Ruegner/Getty

I hear it has been a good year for ladybirds, presumably because it has been a good year for aphids,  my ladybird numbers here verify this!  I cannot remember ever seeing so many.  I must learn how to identify and check to see if it is the invasive harlequin ladybird.  They are of course on the menu for swallows.  At the Guardian Gardening Blog they have an identification and survey link and you can report unusual ladybird sightings.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently the late broods of swallows will sometimes winter in Europe and not fly all the way to Africa, so hopefully your last four may have a safe passage.

    We have both traditional and harlequin ladybirds in the garden. So far, they seem to co-exist quite happily here. Probably because we have so many aphids in the garden! The harlequins come in all sorts of colour combinations. They sometimes find their way into the attic to hibernate in winter.


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