10.00am and I am looking out through the kitchen window, watching the rain that has been falling steadily all night. The tall Conifer moves with the wind as though alive, swaying to and fro while deep within the evergreen foliage, birds take shelter, keeping a firm grip as they are tossed about like sailors on a stormy sea. This heavy rain and blustery wind is forecast for the entire day.
A male Blackbird suddenly appears on top of the fence at the end of the garden. He is eager and alert, looking carefully around for any signs of danger before making his next move. This is not a foraging trip, for I will see shortly that this bird knows exactly where he is going, he has already planned this mission to collect food.
We also leave fallen apples and pears beneath those small fruit trees and all the leaves stay on the ground, creating a great habitat for insects and worms. Instead of spending time keeping the garden neat and tidy we let nature create a wonderful source of food that is relished by our garden birds.
There are not many grapes remaining now, but they have been there and regularly eaten since September. As far as I am aware, it is only the Blackbird that has taken advantage of these fruits, though the Starlings and on occasion a Crow are seen to eat the apples. Last year we were visited by Fieldfares and Redwings but that was well into winter before they put in an appearance in our little garden,