A months worth of grass growth greeted us back, after a month of scorching hot weather in the UK. Instantly gone were the memories of the cheerful little Robins singing just above our heads, whilst sitting drinking tea in two English family gardens, and the Blue Heron standing in the waters of the River Wye, whilst visiting Tintern Abbey.The soaring Red Kites in the Cotswold hills and also in many parts of the UK, and the abundance of different water birds at The Cotswolds Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, (formerly The Seven Wildfowl Trust founded by Peter Scott) in Gloucestershire, England.
But wait, where are all our own garden birds that were in profusion before our departure? Well, many are still here, and a little bit of incentive was required for them to reveal themselves to us again, such as a restocking of the peanut and sugar water feeders to get them started. However, on a closer look into the tall grasses surrounding the house, a considerably large-sized flock of Sparrows were seen to be very active, and a young Bluebird was sitting surveying the scene. I suspect that, following my lawn-mowing exercise yesterday, their interest will have considerably diminished, although we have been compensated in our bird viewing by a Baltimore Oriole feeding where the Hummingbirds have returned to the sugar water! Our other common visitors, the Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers and the Nuthatch, were soon back to the peanuts, so we haven’t been entirely deserted by them all.
My wife and I had a lovely surprise when she spotted a Monarch butterfly hanging upside down on a leaf. We think that it might have just emerged from its chrysalis there and was still drying itself out. There seemed to be some evidence of the chrysalis on an adjacent leaf, but I am not certain. The butterfly was left alone, and when the leaf was inspected a few hours later, it was gone.
The picture is of a male Downy Woodpecker. Note how it uses its claws and tail to stabilize itself whilst feeding.
I hope that everyone has stayed safe and well during my absence, and will continue to do so.