When I got up this morning at about 05.30 there was a robin singing in the garden, I could hear another in the far distance singing in response. I nipped back indoors and got my recorder, clipped the mic to a twig in a nearby tree, put the recorder on top of a waterbutt and pressed record. Here’s the results (best listened to with headphones):
Robins Will Perch on Anything – TWTW #24
I was wondering whether or not this last week was going to be hectic or very quiet, and in the end it was somewhere towards the latter.
The rush proposal that I was asked to do has been put on hold, so having to gear up quickly and get cracking with that didn’t happen and it allowed me to get on with some other work.
I’ve had to do quite a bit of weeding on the allotment in the last week or so, and there has been the usual ever present robin keeping an eye on me and also catching the insects that are disturbed as I work. I tried to get some video footage of this and was only really partly successful, as you can see the robin was happy to have his photo taken, but on his own terms.
This article is a healthy reminder that all those e-books you have on your devices are not actually yours, you just own a licence to them. I’ve written before about the power of companies like Amazon who licence you an e-book and can pretty much do whatever they want if they feel you have broken their terms and conditions (whether you have done so intentionally or not). Now I love my kindle, but there are the obvious vulnerabilities or loosing or breaking it (and having the cost of a replacement), and the issues around DRM that these two articles raise. In the former case at least it looks as though customers will bet their money back, but what if this was a company that went into bankruptcy and there was no cash left to pay for the severs or refund their customers. Amazon is pretty big, but is it too big to fall?
I’ll still be using my kindle and buying books (licences for books) for it but I’ve never been completely happy about that relationship and I’m still not. I have my eyes wide open though.
I’ve been reading “Bloom” by Ruth Kassinger this week. It was sent to me by the publisher for a review, and if you want to read what I thought you can do so here. The short version is that it is an excellent book.
This week I’m mostly going to be working on a client project and trying to get some sensible thoughts into a report for them. Beyond that I doubt that I’ll be doing much else as my diary is relatively clear of other commitments.
Clearing the Compost Bin
It’s that time of the year for clearing out the last of the compost from the main bin on the allotment. I’ve been using this as I dig over the beds, and plant potatoes. It’s mostly last years cleared plants with a little horse manure and other things that will compost well. I have two bins, one that’s “cooking” and one that I’m adding to in the current year. Next spring the one that’s “cooking” will become the one I use for adding to beds as I dig them.
While I was working, a pair of Robins kept coming to check on my progress, and help me by removing centipedes and other insects, I managed to get a few minutes of video of their antics, see below. They seem very focussed, and I think both have nests with young in near by, so I expect I’ll be seeing their offspring in due course. They’re often coming to inspect what I’m doing, particularly if I have the hoe out or any other activity that disturbs the soil a bit.
I was sitting at my desk this afternoon, looking out across the garden. We’d had a funny morning weather wise, going from bright and sunny to sleet, hailstones and squally rain. By now the sun was back and the birds active, in particular a female blackbird, picking up sticks and leaves and other things and taking them into our honeysuckle bush. I think she’s nest building as there was quite a bit of tooing and froing collecting supplies, then back into the honeysuckle, which was rustling with her presence.
The blackcaps were back again too, again two male birds, so they’re obviously sticking around.
My afternoon dog walk was also full of birds. There was lots of bird song, and another buzzard sighting. This time the buzzard was soaring overhead, riding the air currents. I manage to snap a few photos on my phone.
Finally a little robin paid us an up close visit.
Allotment Catch Up Sunday
I spent this morning on the allotment as I hadn’t spent much time there yesterday with having to pick Ruby up from the vet. As she was clearly much better I took a couple of hours to do some weeding and watering, as well as harvesting a few things – broccoli, red gooseberries and loganberries in particular.
It was an overcast morning, which thankfully kept the temperatures down, there were also a number of birds about, in particular blackbirds singing and my robin friend was back, keeping a check that I was doing the weeding right and uncovering insects for him to eat.
Second Blog Post For Regatta
My second gardening / allotment blog for Regatta is now live on their website. You can read it here.
The Robin in our garden is still faithfully sitting on her eggs. Having done a bit of online research I now know that it is the female that sits on the eggs alone, and it takes 13 days for them to hatch. So assuming that when we first noticed her was last Saturday, 6th June, we are likely to have baby birds sometime this week.
As she is so exposed, we’re keeping watch but from a distance, so as not to disturb her. Her preference for this nest is completely different to the blue tits who we had nesting earlier in the season. They managed to find a gap in the side of the garage, and chose to nest there. It means we have no idea how many young they had, as other than the chirps of the young, and the parents tooting and froeing you wouldn’t have known they were there, unlike the blue tits from last year, who used the sparrow box, and you could see the young, sticking their heads out, now and again.
I seem to have been visited a lot by Robins this year so far. There is an ever present Robin, whenever I’m weeding on the allotment [I don’t to be honest know if it’s the same bird, or there are a multitude of them, taking it in turns to feed on the small insects an grubs I disturb when weeding].
And now we seem to have one nesting in the garden or rather brooding eggs.
The nest is one that we put up, but to this point has never been used, and has been there so long, it’s falling apart. We’ll keep an eye on them from a distance.
Until about the middle of last week, I’d forgotten this weekend was a three day Bank Holiday. I treasure my time away from work (remind me I said that after the end of July, when I’m redundant and job hunting!).
As the weekend drew closer, a little reading matter arrived on Thursday, with David Hewson’s latest novel, “The Wrong Girl”, and my reading was settled. I’d been looking forward to this book particularly as it is the second in a new series.
As is my usual habit on Saturday I headed off to the allotment. I took the lawn mower along to cut the grass, however the machine refused to start, so I settled for some weeding, watering and general tidying. The gooseberry bushes have set fruit, so I put up the framework of canes that will become the fruit cage once the remaining Loganberries have flowered and the bees have done their thing to set their fruit.
I saw my first Swallows on Saturday morning. A bit late compared to some, but I’ve been looking and hoping to spot my first local birds for a few weeks, so I’m pleased to have seen my first “Sky Jewels” of the summer.
I was also visited by another feathered friend while working. As I weeded a robin came and worked alongside me, as I cleared the weeds, he fed on the insects I disturbed. I suspect he has a nest and young nearby, as he was flying away and coming back empty beaked for more.
I harvested the first radishes, the last purple sprouting broccoli and some rhubarb. Other crops are coming along nicely. There’s a video to follow, once it’s edited and uploaded.
Dog Walking Sunday
The rains came late on Saturday and stayed through the night and until mid-morning on Sunday. In the afternoon we left for the woods to walk the dogs. The bluebells are in bloom and it was nice to spend time and look at the glories of spring. I need time in the woods occasionally to bring a little peace and balance to my brain.
The Best Bit of a Bank Holiday Weekend
Still to come, Bank Holiday Monday.