Sunday, 19 June 2011


Most avian visitors to Bag End are warmly welcomed. Although we haven't seen the Sparrowhawk for a while, the garden is currently home to numerous baby birds, gangly teenagers and tired parents; we are putting out huge quantities of bird food which is being consumed at the rate of knots.

"you might have a growing family to feed but leave my worms alone!"

The pheasant have raised three chicks from their first brood and dad is a great parent, we haven't seen Mum recently

Young Rook banging on the kitchen window to let me know he wants more food ...

Happily we have one Red Squirrel visiting almost daily. I learned recently that at the end of last year three were killed by speeding cars in our village which is desperately sad, and that explains why we have had so few visitors this year.

Some visitors are, however, decidedly unwelcome. A large property nearby has a peacock and an unknown quantity of peahens. As they don't look after them properly (ie: keep them safe in a shed overnight), the male kicks off at dawn and makes a terrific racket. I don't mind the noise because we are far enough away to ignore it but I do strenuously object when he wanders out of his own couple of acres and heads down to us.

He's the size of a small Collie but does far more damage - pulling new small plants out of the soil is a favourite occupation for a bored peacock. All I can do when I see him is turn the hose on full and try and get him with a jet of water to make visits to Bag End as unpleasant as possible.

Don't get me started on the legalities of keeping these birds in unsuitable locations - they are not covered by the same laws as govern, for example, dog ownership/responsibilities, or any other legislation, and when the owners don't give a flying foxglove about their effect on neighbours there is not a lot that can be done.

Management took the pictures for me whilst I was busy trying to convince the feathered vandal that he would rather be elsewhere.


  1. We're going through masses of bird food too - apparently blackbirds are struggling due to lack of worms in the dry weather - we still haven't had any decent rain in spite of it being promised.

  2. My haven't you been a busy blogger! But I do think putting a weeks worth of blogs up at one go to make yourself look like superwoman is cheating . The garden is really coming on now. I can hear the excitement in your voice as you type your blogs!

  3. ps - pheasants don't have a second brood. However if their nest is destroyed they will keep trying until the manage a successful brood. Mum normally stays with the chicks until they are several weeks old.

  4. Sue, at this rate I won't have any worms either. The Blackies are constantly mugging the soil!

    Country B, I would have got the blog caught up sooner but have had photo-shenanigans as well as not enough hours in the day. I'm not doing it deliberately, honest {grin}.

    Our senior pheasants have three chicks now quail-sized, there are 2 regular males here and at least 3 females, perhaps we'll see a brood from one of the other girls?

  5. Although we don't have such an exotic unwelcome guest as the peacock, I have caught the magpies a couple of times in the cherry tree - grr!

  6. I'll swap you my exotic visitor for magpies any time. Have been cursing darkly and wondering what roast peacock would be like. Seeing as I won't even kill a worm, the chances of needing a recipe are nil!


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