Hello from the garden

If you’ve been lucky enough to waken early these last few months, then you’ll have heard one of the most amazing phenomenans of nature called the Dawn Chorus. In springtime, every morning about an hour before sunrise, many different birds gather together and begin singing together in harmony. If you haven’t heard it, click Here.

Can you recognize any garden birds? Some of my favorite are the robin, the blackbird and the song thrush. Why not put on your Sherlock Holmes cap, pick a garden bird and do a bit of research on it on Mr. Google.

Tell the story of this little bird in Your Nature Journal. It could be the sparrow, the wren, the chaffinch, the robin or the blackbird. Maybe choose one you’ve seen in the garden. Describe what it looks like. Draw or paint it. Do the male and female look different? Why is that ? How many eggs do they lay? What colour are they? What do the baby chicks look like? Where do they nest? What do they eat? Do they stay in Ireland over the winter?

A few years ago, one spring, a robin flew into the tunnel in Horticulture and built a nest in a little black pot on one of the shelves. It was the most perfect nest.
In the nest were four little eggs. The robin was not the least bit put out when she saw us and sat happily on the eggs until they hatched.
After a couple of weeks, four little chicks appeared. Baby robins are brown and speckled and look quite different to the adult. One day off they flew, but they often came back to the garden to visit, usually because of all the tasty treats they found in the compost heap!

I know of a woman who decided that her creative project for this spring was to learn the birdsong of all the different birds. What a lovely idea. So why not pick a bird or two and learn their song. Click here to listen to some of the most well known bird songs. Pick one and video it on your phone. Then play it back several times during the day. This will help you remember it. Look out for that particular bird and see if it comes into your garden.

Whatever else you do, go out into the garden and listen to the birds. This time of year, they sing their little hearts out, and it can only be described as music for the soul.