Issue 6

Nature Watch                    marienkaefer-48

Hello, readers

It's that time of year again and my 49th spring on this planet. Each new spring gets more wonderful, more life-enhancing; in spite of all the mess man makes on his beautiful garden planet.

The birds were a bit confused this year and some started courting and building nests early. It was reported that male robins had built nests and were trying to attract females in many parts of the country before Christmas. Jaymie, Dave and I have heard a robin singing at one in the morning most nights since January.

A blackbird woke me up at 4.30am on Xmas Day. It was a wonderful Xmas present as it is my favourite songbird. I have always thought that Paul McCartney's song was incorrect but now I've heard it for myself.

Dave suggested that the birds have been singing outside our windows because of the new nightlights that have been installed. It must be right because they have only been singing in winter since then.

When I first came here, I did not see or hear any starlings or sparrows in our gardens, but a few appeared last year and are beginning to breed successfully, maybe because we have been feeding them. Long tailed tits are coming to the bird-table now, even when people are talking loudly, ten feet away. This shows how hungry they are. At this time of year, food is scarce in the wild and it is important to feed birds until natural foods appear again. The RSPB recommend that we feed birds all year round, now as habitats and natural foods have been lost

I saw a large dog-fox in the garden last week, he looked fit and healthy. There must be plenty of food round here and his presence should keep the rat population down. The daffodils and winter-blooming heather are looking beautiful and they are refreshing to the winter-jaded eye. Leaves are appearing on elder, horse chestnut and mistletoe; already soaking up the sunshine of the last ten heart-warming days.

Goodbye for now and I hope you will get all the joy and pleasure that I am getting from another spring season on this dear planet of ours.