Birds, Scarecrows and Flying Ants….

All this fine weather is wonderful but it does mean we are spending a lot of time at the allotment watering. Most of the vegetables are now in the ground and doing well although half of the cauliflowers didn’t survive. I have no idea why this year I am having such a problem with Brassica, my cabbages didn’t survive and I ended up buying small plugs to put in. I have got some more coming on in the greenhouse and hopefully they will do a bit better. It’s annoying because our very first year every Brassica I sowed came through to the point that I was giving trays away but this year has been a disaster for me with them. On the other hand the sweetcorn has done very well and after hardening them off in the cold frame I have got them into the ground. We have a problem with sweetcorn loving badgers so Ian has erected a chicken wire fence around them with some on the ground around the fence as well, as badgers have incredibly sharp claws and it doesn’t take them long to dig under the fence. Our other defence is a scarecrow which Ian made from an old pair of jeans and a bright pink jumper that I had found in the wardrobe. Along with my allotment hat she is very lifelike if you catch a glimpse of her from the corner of your eye! A photo will be taken next time we are down to show her off. We also bought 3 smaller ones from the pound shop so fingers crossed the badgers will look at other plots for their midnight snacks!

Also an update on the birds nesting in our garden. The first pair of robins, that had nested in Ian’s old boot in the ivy, had their brood which fledged successfully and another pair of robins have taken up residence. They are very busy taking food back to the chicks but the other day they didn’t really have to work too hard. We have a flying ants nest at the base of an old tree and every year, just for the one day, they leave the nest and start climbing the tree in their hundreds and then when they are at the top they fly off. This meant the robins just flew to the tree, filled their beaks and took them to the nest, nice and easy for them.

 

We have had a lot more birds nesting around us this year. The blue tits have a brood in the nest box at the bottom of the garden but we have also had great tits, a wren and coal tits all visiting us with newly fledged babies, and I’m sure there is a blackbird and songthrush nest nearby. They really are lovely to watch.

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