July 18, 2017

The Ants have flown

It is a strange phenomenon that different birds take the lead in song on different days it has been the Robin one morning and the Blackbird another.

Our fledgling blue tits came back for a visit recently looking very well.  How do I know they were the right ones...because the parents ignored me completely  as they always did when tooing and froing from the box through the carefully and thoughtfully placed washing.

The goldfinches are still eating us out of house and home so there must be an awful lot of them.  This happened last year then all of a sudden they disappeared just when I had stocked up with nyger seed which subsequently went stale. 

Sadly the Robin and Blackbird have stopped singing  until the moult finishes in August. It would be unbearably quiet in the garden if it were not for the non stop chatter of Jackdaws and  singing of the Goldfinches, but they too will be off to Africa soon with the swifts.  Thankfully the thrush and the wren have started singing again  after several weeks of silence.   There is little more captivating as catching a glimpse of a perfectly formed young wren in the undergrowth and there seem to be many this year, living up to their name troglodyte as they rummage in the undergrowth. Occasionally a male will burst into bright song for a short while, perhaps gathering in the brood.

Readers may think by now that I am obsessed by birdsong, that is very true and I see no change  as I study it in much more depth.  To my mind this  is a perfect expression of the joy of living   in the purest untainted  form.

The woodland project is still going strong and as the visits mount I have become more aware of the nuances and small changes taking place. A marvellous project that influenced  me into taking this one on ( a year in the life of Harrocks Wood ) was reading the link below over the past year... . .   

'The Long View'....... which  reached its culmination exhibition and publication this June.  Inspired by this I  contacted  other local historians and The National Trust ....with very mixed responses.   The more famous the person the better the response and  after tracking down the ranger for the area this improved and much help in gathering  information is  ongoing.   In consequence the project is  taking a new turn  to try and  locate  the necessary documentation for ancient woodland status.

This is the worst time of year for being bitten or stung as many larvae erupt from the ponds as flying insects. Some are more attractive than others and many do not bite as they spend there short life span above water finding a mate and laying eggs.

Now the ants.....the nest in front of the garage erupted with flying ants at midday with all the non flying ants rushing around in all directions  with no apparent purpose except mutual excitement.  The event only lasted an hour and then they were all gone.  Each year this marks for me the highest point of the summer and the heat to my relief will begin  to fall and the summer will start to wane.