Nature – Red in beak and claw

No the title doesn’t refer to the sorting out of the mouse problem in the greenhouse. That may have been resolved after 4 mice have been trapped – none for the last couple of days.

What the title refers to is an incident on Sunday in the garden – I was just sorting out some compost at the bottom of the garden when I heard a commotion in the central pear tree. I looked up and saw what I thought initially was a pigeon falling out of the tree. I realised an instant later that it was a sparrowhawk which had just caught a pigeon. I kept very still and was ably to watch the sparrowhawk land by the currant bushes and proceed to pull feathers off the pigeon. I was able to slowly sidle along the path until I was only about 4 or 5 yards away as the hawk started tearing flesh from the pigeon. I tried to move slowly further along the path in the hope of getting to the house and get my camera, but the hawk decided it could find somewhere better to eat the pigeon and flew off – leaving a large pile of feathers. The whole incident must have lasted about 10 minutes, fascinating and I’m not sure how many people get that close to a sparrowhawk kill. We have been aware of a sparrowhawk coming through the garden a couple of time before during the last few years, but this is the first time I think a bird had been caught in our garden.

So that wildlife incident occurred just as I’d finished digging section ‘A’ – now I’ll need to spread some compost over that area and spread out the contents of a few growbags now. I also need to decide exactly what I’m going to grow in there. So section A here we come – mind it still has some celery and leek growing there but the celery is only going to the guinea pig and the leeks aren’t ‘blanched’  so it won’t be a loss to dig them up.

Speaking of growing, now the mouse problem is at least under control, if not cured, I’ve replaced the broad beans – but taken care to put the seed trays on ‘pedestals’ to make it hard for the mice to get at them. Also, I’ve sown a small tray with mixed lettuce to make sure we have some salad at least.

A delivery of plants last week has also presented a bit of a dilemma – some blueberry plants that I’m going to put in containers for now, but I need to get them. Also some new currant plants (black, red and white, 9 altogether), some of which will go at the bottom of the garden but I haven’t decided where the others will go yet. The aim is that they will replace the present bushes which all a bit old and past their best now.

Rather alarmingly the grass is growing and may well need cutting soon…

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