Weathering the Weather
An Article by Mike Stentiford, MBE
THERE seems to me to be a distinct cheerfulness in the garden at the present moment although, admittedly, it’s as much to do with a vocal presence as a visual one.
It’s all to do with May-time birdsong, of course, and the fact that scores of the little feathered treasures are honouring their innermost chick-rearing impulses by giving this annual preoccupation some vital attention. And what better way of advertising the fact than by making as much sweet music as possible, preferably from as high and as conspicuous a vantage point as can be found.
Identifying individual birdsong is sometimes frustratingly difficult although, to be honest, some species prove much easier than others.
At the end of the day, though, does it really matter if there’s confusion separating the wren from the dunnock or the blackbird from the mistle thrush? I think not, for as long as we gain the utmost enjoyment from their songs, then I feel that it’s not always that critically important!
But there, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that May, and all that it brings to garden, coast and countryside, is by far the prettiest and most spiritually uplifting month of all. The darling buds of May in tandem with newly arrived migrant bird species adding powerful decibels to their continental songs offer every excuse imaginable for us to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. While such excursions might entail a trip to a nearby park or woodland, there’s often much to see and to listen to in our very own gardens of course!
Depending on the scale of our wildlife-friendly achievements during the past year, then the chances are that our very own garden wildlife will obviously save us the cost of an away-day journey! Certainly as far as garden birds are concerned, this statement reinforces the benefits of providing them with food, water and shelter throughout the lean months of winter.
Had we ourselves not taken advantage of providing them with a cornucopia of bird-food when most needed, then our gardens would now likely be as silent as a robin’s whisper.
And we really wouldn’t want that, would we?