THE CLOCKS went forward at the weekend so we’re now into British summertime, despite the low temperature and the strips of snow lingering on the hills.

It’s 8pm and as the light fades there’s a lot of posturing and puffing up of plumage as the back garden blackbirds emphasise their claims to the lawn. A single male claims the flower border while a resident pair forage around the shed and the herb bed opposite.

The males play cat and mouse, mirroring each other’s postures but keeping a few paces away from each other on a band of disputed territory along the front of the herb bed and down to the pond.

The bluster doesn’t bubble over into outright aggression and the shed pair fade away beyond the hedge as dusk drains away the light. They’ll be bursting into song to establish their claims again at dawn.

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  1. Richard, I am sure I saw a kestrel in my garden today. I am in the middle of an urban sprawl. How did it get here and will it eat all the baby birds?

    1. It could well be. The sparrowhawk is a regular visitor to our garden but it’s good to see it as that means there are sufficient song birds or in the case of our kestrels voles and wood mice, for them to feed on. I’ve never heard of our kestrels being nest robbers. We never get kestrels hunting over the garden and it’s a rare enough sight to see one hovering over the meadow by the wood these days. Sparrowhawks seem to be doing better.

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