'Tis the season to eat holly.... well not quite! But the local blackbirds have been coming to the holly bush in the garden and munching berries, shame I can't persuade the waxwing that turned up at the Askham Bar Tesco in York to do so! (There was a waxwing very briefly in a tree at the end of our street in early 2017!)
We're putting plenty of food out for the birds, the gangs of noisy and squabbling house sparrows in the garden and the allotment, friendly robins, great tits, blue tits in both and today there was a Mistle Thrush pottering around the allotment and trying out new tunes. Have you noticed that thrushes and robins try out melodies very quietly at this time of year? There was a song thrush up near the University in Leeds doing the same the other day! The birds around the allotments soon made themselves scarce today as two Red Kites flew over low this lunchtime. One often checks me out when I am at the allotment, they have spread out so much since the re-introduction programme from Harewood House a few years ago, and indeed are actually historically quite urban birds, indeed a good place to see them is around Seacroft in east Leeds as they swoop around the flats there, and I've once seen a group of six of them (yes, six - people 30 years ago would have thought me crazy if I had said that then!) circling low around the A64/outer Ring Road roundabout one day as I was coming home from work. A trip to Leeds and back will usually result in seeing three or four.
The local starling flock has increased over the years, now about one hundred strong, good to see them making a comeback, and there's a noisy group of jackdaws that come down into the allotments too.
Anyway, much as I could fill this blog with bird tales, what about the growing?
At the back of the shot is the damson tree and we have been overrun with damsons this year, enough to make over twenty jars of jam! (approx three hundred damsons went into eight or nine jars of jam!) and there's still more in the freezer.
I've moved one of the rhubarb roots (or are they rhizomes?) over to alongside the asparagus in the patch behind the damson as where it was it was getting overshadowed by the comfrey very quickly. Seems to have established and is making the first shoot.