On two mornings last week the garden was busy with wee birds. The chiff-chaff is back, flitting around every twig and stem of the apple trees before darting to a hawthorn and repeating the process, and every so often flitting out from a perch to snap at some small flying insect, and flit back to cover again. Then there was movement in the ivy, and a tiny wren appeared. When it saw the chiff-chaff it zoomed up beside it with what appeared to be territorial anger, causing the chiff-chaff to move quickly onto a nearby silver birch.
Meanwhile, at the foot of an apple tree a hen blackbird was straining to pull an earthworm out of the ground. The third or fourth haul extracted the poor beast, which was picked up into a rough figure of eight and swiftly swallowed. After a couple of extra gulps, to ensure all the worm was well inside her, she hopped over to a fallen apple for dessert.
High in the oak a bluetit hopped around before flying across to the top branches of the hornbeam at the end of the garden. A movement in a nearby rosemary bush caught my eye, and staring into it I saw a very still bird. It seemed in no hurry to leave, which gave me time to grab a camera and take several shots of what turned out to be a dunnock – the first I’ve noticed here – but its not exactly a showy bird.