The swallows are here, the swifts have arrived this week and I heard my first cuckoo this morning. I get shouted at every time I go to the shed by a Great Tit fiercely defending the offspring, and the baby blackbirds get in the way when I am moving compost out of the heap. It is an easy way for them to find food. Oh what a lovely time of year it is!
Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Even the baby rabbits munching on the young hydrangea leaves within their, somewhat limited, reach are something to smile about. Well they deserve it I think. They have such a struggle with myxomatosis and the new RHD2 which is wiping out thousands of rabbits. They are such lovely creatures and get such a bad press because they eat what we are trying to grow.
There are several nests around the garden, but I am concerned about upsetting them so I leave well alone.
As I write we have less than two weeks left of summer here in the northern hemisphere. Autumn officially begins on 22nd September this year and you can already feel the beginnings of change. The light is starting to mellow from the harsher sunlight of summer and the foliage on some trees is starting to change.
We count ourselves very lucky to have a pair of swifts come every year to raise a brood under our roof edge, but they have long since left to spend their winter in Africa. Their arrival in the Spring is awaited with great anticipation – will they make it this year? It is such a relief when they finally arrive and a joy to see them swooping and screaming through the air on summer evenings.
Swallows no longer seem to be attracted to our part of the village but I could not resist painting one after having seen several in the air round me as I worked one day.
They are still around but it is a sign that summer is finally over when they begin to congregate on the telegraph wires in preparation for their long flight south.