March 11, 2010

This week in wildlife

And so it begins: another year. There is frog spawn in the pond in the Nature Garden, and above it two ring-necked parakeets are nesting in a hole high in the
larch. They cling to the trunk, improbably bright, screeching and muttering obscenely. Underfoot, a few speedwells have struggled into bloom between the dead leaves.

A pair of great tits were investigating our bird boxes this morning. One spent quite some time in the great tit box while the other kept watch, occasionally fluttering over to perch at the hole and look in. Then out she came and flew to the blue tit box, but finding the hole too small she hung there for several minutes, pecking furiously at the entrance as though to enlarge it. Apart from the cock-wren's rejected effort the year before last, we have had no nests in the garden since the blue tits' brood in 2005, despite all the boxes and feeders. I hope we will have a nest this year.

There are tiny buds on the acer and the snowball tree, and in Teddington the pavements are yellow with catkin pollen where six months ago they were covered in leaves. This winter has been long and hard, and we all long for fine weather now.
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