Sunday, 13 February 2011
Little Brown Things...
Mornings are still fairly dark and the evenings get dark early still too. So why does the dunnock who lives in my hedge sing and trill right through until about 2 a.m? His (or her) song is absolutely delightful and cuts right through the silence of the sacred night. Bill Oddie calls such birds 'LBTs' - little brown things, and the dunnock is one of those anonymous sort of birds I guess, but they are real characters.
Many years ago, when I worked the occasional night shift, I used to watch birds flying and singing at night in the bright lights of an industrial estate in Hull where night was lit up almost as bright as day (what a waste - no-one worked there on a night.)
We don't have the amusing spectacle of flocks of sparrows in the garden, we've never had any for donkey's years, but watching them in mother's garden is both funny and entertaining as they sit around the bird bath and play and interact.
The dunnocks bob along on the ground usually in twos, under bushes, scrabbling around in the leaves, pecking in the grass and spend very little time on the bird table where there is food aplenty. Their thin reddish legs and brown plump bodies (sounds familiar - I must go on a diet again) don't quite match their ability to produce beautiful and entertaining song.
The photograph above was taken in my mother's garden yesterday because my snowdrops have yet to flower although I notice that the white buds are not far away from opening. There are some readers of this blog who also come from God's own county - Yorkshire and it is amazing that in just a few miles, the behaviours of flowers and nature can be so different in their timings.
I can't do much in the garden at the moment; I walked down to the greenhouse yesterday to find a new pot for a house plant that had a cracked pot and the grass was sodden. We've had loads of rain and I really need to start tidying up, but the grass is easily damaged right now. It's normally toward the beginning of March that I give the grass it's first high cut, but there is no sign of growth at all. A local company has come and put some moss killer down because some of the grass sees very little sun and that's started to work already.
My other half has just brought some walnut cake and a cuppa to keep me going with all this energy I'm expending typing. Lots to do today, so hope you enjoy your Sunday.