Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Early Bird…

…catches the worm, so the saying goes. Well, there must be a bird very eager to nab a worm because, for nearly a month now, I’ve heard a blackbird singing in the middle of the night.

I first noticed it when I fell asleep on the sofa watching TV. When I finally turned in at 3am, I heard a blackbird tuning up! On subsequent occasions, I’ve heard it warbling away when I went to bed not quite so late (between 1 and 2.30am) In the past two weeks, I’ve even heard it trilling before midnight!

There is a lot of light pollution where I live, but I’ve never noticed this behaviour before. Perhaps this bird is confused by the light combined with the mild weather, feeling that spring is on its way even though midwinter is still (technically) upon us. Has anyone else noticed this behaviour?


Blackbird eyeing up rowan berries

Okay, so the picture of a blackbird was taken in summer, and not a worm in sight, just lots of rowan berries. But it leads me to say I’ve spotted lots of birds at the berries in the wilderness beyond my fire escape. The robins have been scoffing the berries of Parthenocissus tricuspidata, (Boston Ivy) whilst blackbirds, greenfinches and wood pigeons have all been partaking of the Pyracantha berries.


Greenfinch eating Pyracantha berries

The Mahonia is transitioning from bright yellow flowers to blue-black berries, and earlier this year, I saw a blackcap stuffing its face on the fruits. More unusually, I’d spotted a blackcap slurping at the nectar of the flowers back in February. At least, that’s what I think it was doing..


Blackcap drinking from a flower?

All that’s left to say is Happy New Year, one and all, and best wishes for 2016.



Filed under Uncategorized

Tree Following: December

Well, the tree I have been following for the past eleven months is well and truly asleep…


All but four of the leaves have fallen, and the liveliest thing about the tree is the fungi – lots of ear fungus, and a snotty looking fungus whose identity I have no idea.

I’ve usually visited on dry days, preferably when sunny, as I take better pictures of this tree in these conditions, but I didn’t have a chance to this time. The rain had made some interesting patterns on the bark.IMG_1875

Next month will be my final month charting the monthly progress of this tree, though I will continue to observe it every so often. Thanks to Pat of thesquirrelbasket for co-ordinating the Tree Following phenomenon.


Filed under Tree Lines