July will undoubtedly be remembered for rain, winds and more rain! However, today in my garden it was seen out with a bright sunny day. Although I had perhaps been a bit optimistic in removing the cover from our table and chairs for our evening meal!
A Jungle is a good description of some areas of my garden at the moment where the grasses, and other plants, have given their explosion of growth as they always do this month. My garden also gets a new kick of life at this time of year as I have a large percentage of my garden given to foliage plants which come into their own now. I do have some flowers but have chosen to grow large groups of the same flowering plant, and colour, as I feel it works better with the foliage and space I have. My penstemon cuttings are now all in flower in my sunnier front garden and beginning to come into flower in my shadier back garden. I will say no more of my plants now but will post some photos soon. Today I enjoyed a very industrious afternoon pruning and tidying up my garden.
Visiting juveniles - this has been the biggest surprise for me! I have a variety of birds that visit my garden but I have to say that this is the first time I have ever seen many of the young birds that are visiting at the moment. It has been delightful to watch and identify them all. I am thrilled they are visiting my garden and hope they nest close by next spring. I read that if you supply food for them now when they are young it is more likely they will return. I hope so. This has really been an eye opener for me – in all honesty if I weren’t writing this gardenwatch diary/blog I probably wouldn’t be putting food out at this time as I would have expected the birds would have plenty of food sources and wouldn’t need the feeders in gardens. What a lot I would have missed!
The photo above shows how popular the feeder is in my Acer tree. The branches of the tree are used almost for a queuing system and you can see the young greenfinch waiting patiently whilst the siskin and blue tit appear not to notice him. The photos below are a small selection of favourites from the many I have taken this month. Below the last photo you will see a video of how a greenfinch male was not keen at all to share this feeder. I don’t know if the young greenfinches were his brood but I suspect they may be – notice how fluffy the last one is.
The first set of photos below show a blue tit juvenile. They have been lovely to watch – they are so agile too as you can see. They do eat quite quickly so I find it tricky to catch them still enough for photos. The last photo was an even bigger treat - I was absolutely thrilled to see this great tit juvenile from my window and very gingerly leaned out to get this not so sharp picture!
Next, below, is a chaffinch juvenile and I am guessing it is a male by its colouring. I have seen a few of these in my garden but they do seem to sit back on branches and watch the activity at the feeders before joining in. They seem to like the feeders quieter. They also like to sit on sunny branches!
Choosing which young bird I have enjoyed seeing visit the most is tricky but I would probably think that the siskin would be in the top two with the blue tit. The two photos below show how alert it is - unlike the greenfinch it is seen with it in the remaining photos.
Today as I tidied the bed that this Acer tree is growing in I found, amongst the plants, a dead greenfinch juvenile. It is very likely to have been caught by one of my neighbours’ cats. I think I should move my CatWatch device to protect this area for a while! I have probably noticed more greenfinches being caught by cats than any other bird.
Finally, the video below was captured on Saturday and shows that, unlike the harmonious looking photos of the siskin and greenfinch above, when there is a group of greenfinches it can get a bit heated! Notice how the youngster fights back at the beginning of the video. Unfortunately when there is a lot of movement the processed video can be a bit pixelated but as it captured the action well I have decided to show it. Sadly the second bird the Greenfinch sent away was a diseased bird which had trichomonosis and would die soon.