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Birds From My Kitchen Window


Birds From My Kitchen Window ... I rush from window - to window - to window, as birds fly quickly from one feeder to another, chased off one by a Magpie, giving way prudently to the Woodpecker as he flies down from the nearby Poplar; ousted from another by a horde of hungry Starling, flying in from the fields ...

When I woke up this morning ... ‘birds’ were on my mind ... birds and more birds - garden birds! It was the weekend of the Big Garden Bird Watch.

Today brought more snow to the mountains with a fresh to strong NE wind blowing across the garden. Ominous dark grey clouds, told of more snow to come. It brightened during the morning and the sun shone from a clear pale blue winter sky for the afternoon.

Our garden, if you can call it that, is in reality just an extension of the marshy fields around. Occasionally in spring and summer I half heartedly mow the lawns or at least have a go at keeping the grass down. One year in a fit of fervour and enthusiasm I scythed it! But mostly it is overgrown and unkempt - an untidy mess of mud, grass, bramble and nettle. The dogs and cats love it. But in winter you can’t go outside without wellies.

An evergreen hedge hides what was going to be an orchard - now a tangle of Nettle and Bramble with self seeded Crab and Damson from a failed planting elsewhere in the garden.

We do have a number of trees and hedges which I manage rather better: Hazel, Willow, Blackthorn - Poplar Rowan and Cherry - Field Maple and Whitebeam. Honeysuckle and Dog Rose too.

The garden faces south so gets sun most of the day. Today as the sun came out the first showing of Primrose and Daffodil. No sign of the Snowdrop though they are out in the woods around.

It’s early morning. A Buzzard soars over; only the throaty call - ‘kronk kronk’ - of Raven, disturbed the sound of silence. Then a Great Tit, calls briefly; tentatively - ‘Teacher’ ‘Teacher’ ‘Teacher’ - a harbinger of spring, and a Song Thrush sings ‘Cherry B’ ‘Cherry B’ ‘Cherry B’ from somewhere atop the Black Poplar near the end of the drive. A Male Great Spotted Woodpecker drums on a nearby Telegraph post.

We feed the birds throughout the year with three feeding stations scattered around the garden, all of which can be seen from the kitchen window, or windows, which are on three sides.

I rush from window - to window - to window, as birds fly quickly from one feeder to another, chased off one by a Magpie, giving way, prudently, to the Woodpecker as he flies down from the nearby Poplar; ousted from another by a horde of hungry Starling, flying in from the fields ...

I count: two Coal Tit; six Great Tit; four Blue Tit; three Blackbird; one Song Thrush; a single Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Wren, and Robin; two Dunnock; six Chaffinch; two Magpie, two Collared Dove; and twenty or so each of Starling and House Sparrow.

The garden ‘patch’ list currently stands at 65 species, many of which I’ve seen from the kitchen window ... So not bad!

Artist Credit

The featured image is not of my garden - I’d love it if it was. It’s of Huntingfield Cottage Garden in Suffolk - the garden of Artist, David Gentleman and his Wife Susan.

The garden belongs to one of two cottages, knocked into one, part of a Suffolk longhouse that has late 16th-century bones with a Victorian overlay. There is a stream to the rear, fields opposite and mature hedges separate the cottage gardens. Oh bliss!

David is an English artist. He studied illustration at the Royal College of Art under Edward Bawden and John Nash. He has worked in watercolour, lithography and wood engraving at scales ranging from the platform-length murals for Charing Cross underground station in London to postage stamps and logos.

His themes include paintings of landscape and environmental posters to drawings of street life and protest placards. 

He has written and illustrated many books, mostly about countries and cities. His recent books are London You're Beautiful (2012) and In The Country (2014). Earlier books include David Gentleman's Britain.

PLEASE NOTE: The image is from David’s  recent book, ‘In The Country’, and is used here with his permission. It should not be copied or reproduced or used in any way for commercial gain.

Here is a link to his website: David Gentleman

Do go and take a look.

Musical Whimsies

Music is my other passion especially from the 50s and 60s. I like to have a little fun when writing, so ‘on a whim’, may include odd song titles or lyrics, in my posts, like Victorian Whimsies hidden in wooden jigsaws.

Musical Whimsies

"You Were on My Mind" (When I Woke up this morning) is a popular song written by Sylvia Fricker in 1962.

And the ...

“Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel recently uniquely covered by Disturbed.



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Josie Holford
January 28, 2019 12:23 am

I love the description of the unkempt, neglected wild nature of your “garden”. No wonder the birds love it. And the sense that more snow is on the way … beautiful. Thank you. And of course David Gentleman is always wonderful. (His illustrations for John Clare are a favourite.) We don’t have snow on the way here (so far as I know) but bitter, bitter cold is predicted. I always wonder how the birds and other animals survive when the temperature dips below zero Fahrenheit and there’s a chilling wind to boot. .

Martin Smith
January 28, 2019 7:13 am

65 from The Garden? That’s quite a number. I have 43- but then I have a 6-foot square patch of flagstones. More of a yard than a garden. Little Egret, Goshawk and Red Kite have flown over tho!

I like your rendition of the birdsong, especially the Song Thrush

Martin Smith
Reply to  Clive Bennett
January 28, 2019 7:02 pm

I am lucky in that I lived 200m from a tidal river and a lot of things that fly up the river can be seen from my garden.
Or do they have to fly over the garden to count??

EIther way – thanks for the link to the artist. very nice work!