Garden Birdwatch

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch survey form.

At 9.20 a.m., a great spotted woodpecker perches briefly in the crab apple so we decide to make that the start of our annual hour-long RSPB Garden Birdwatch. It’s just as well, because the woodpecker doesn’t settle, nor does it return in the next hour.

We record a dozen species; goldfinch are the most numerous with a maximum of ten in the garden at any one time and the coal tit, the last to appear, is the least frequent visitor of the birds on our list.

Pie chart of our top 10 birds, courtesy of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Bean Sprouting

I’m ready to spring into action with the vegetable garden and, although it still a bit early to start sowing seeds, I can give myself a bit of practice by sprouting seeds indoors. In the past, we’ve tried alfalfa, one of the easiest to get going, but we weren’t too thrilled with the results, so today we bought a packet of mung beans for sprouting. We can always use beans sprouts, most probably in a stir-fry.

I’m starting them off by soaking them overnight and they’ll need rinsing and draining a couple of times a day for the next five to ten days.

The Kestrel’s Perch

As I sketch the view across Smithy Brook valley from the Seed Room café at Overton, a kestrel perches for a while towards the top of one of the trees in the copse at the top of the slope.

The fire extinguisher was the most interesting still life subject that I could find to draw in the doctor’s waiting room.

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