Blog 98 - Feathered Friends



I have rolled up the flying carpet and stored it carefully in my garage as I plan to stay on the ground for a bit. I will look at it from time to time to make sure it has not been attacked by pesky moths, for who knows if another pandemic hits us, I may have to take to the skies again. For the moment, my eyes will look upwards but I will be searching for birds.



How I wish I could identify which birds are singing, squawking, cawing, hooting and chirping. As I walked in Richmond Park I could hear invisible birds singing away and I realised how little I know about these feathered friends. I have books on the subject, apps of their calls on my phone and many original watercolour paintings of different species, but there is so much to learn. I will start on this new interest by wearing this lovely scarf.



It is very British, made by Jacqmar, designed by Ennion, of whom I know not a thing. I have already had an adventure tracking down the former premises of Jacqmar’s shop, so that story has been told. This vintage silk scarf (with hand rolled hems) was designed to raise funds for The Royal Society For The Protection of Birds. The background is a rich cream and the colour scheme gentle Earth tones with soft aqua blues and greens. I will now open the dialogue with you, my readers, and perhaps you will tell me which birds are gracing my neck.



During Covid lockdown, I spent many solitary hours in my small courtyard garden and watched some rather confused wood pigeons building untidy nests, abandoning them and then building anew. I don’t think they got around to laying any eggs, although in previous years a pair has raised two youngsters in my pergola amongst the grapes. The blackbirds were more discreet and built in the thick entanglement of jasmine, honeysuckle, grapevine and ivy. All my neighbours think the robin is their own special one, but I am sure he hops from garden to garden, looking proprietorial in each. My photo shows him sitting on the table next me as I feed him titbits.



The wrens are very shy but I know they are lodging locally. I found part of the tiniest eggshell last week. It had to be a wren’s. I have had visits from the heron who had romantic ideas over my plastic model guarding the fishpond. The photo shows the real heron high on the wall, the plastic one lower down. I don’t mind his courtship but I prefer him to have his breakfast elsewhere and keep his beady eyes off my goldfish.



I swing from feeding and non feeding the birds. I love to watch the various tits in particular at the feeders, but then one day I saw a tiny fieldmouse actually inside the box munching away at the fat block. That was tolerable, but alas, I live near the river and it wasn’t long before the river rats were mopping up the dropped morsels too. I am on a non-feeding regime at the moment, but if I want to get to know these feathered visitors better, I may succumb once more to supplying peanuts, fatballs, mealie worms and even nigella seeds. Other family members, living less than a mile away, have dozens of green parakeet and woodpeckers. Strangely, I have never had one of these exotic looking parrots in my garden. They are very beautiful but I don’t miss their ugly screeches.




Over to you now to identify which birds I have on my scarf today. I wonder if you can also see the little hazelnuts? At least, I can recognise these. (As I wind down on my scarf blogs as busybeehazell, shall I now be known as nuttycrackers?) Due to Storm Eunice I removed my battered Union Jack a few weeks ago from the big terracotta pot on my doorstep which holds a Hazel tree, Corylus Avellana Contorta, but next week for my final blog I will put it back in place where it will remain until after the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The weathered faded flag will then be stored next the flying carpet……retired from service…..for the moment!



Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Series 2, Blog 98.

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