The rain has stopped, but its still cloudy and cool in the stiff breeze that’s blowing. Its fresh and changeable and interesting. Blackbird feeding on the grass verge is unconcerned as I pass by, walking up the road. Privet is starting to flower, joining the riot of summer on the back lane.

The copse has had a resident blackbird for months. Pulling worms from the same small area of grass. Its all the territory he has needed, but I’ve not been paying attention. I’ve been walking past his little area at the entrance to the copse and not been noticing his absence. While I’ve not been paying attention, he’s been busy; he flies past me with a beak full of food, disappearing into a bush where the copse meets the road.

He emerges soon after and he’s clocked me, standing there watching and reflecting on how foolish I was to make declarations like nesting in the copse was over for this year. Nature will always find a way to surprise. He perches up, calling in the direction of the bush, not an alarm call but a silence call. There’s so much evidence that there’s a nest there, but I can’t risk going to look and eventually he cracks and reverts to the classic alarm call, flying off in the opposite direction. Its textbook diversion. I’ll be keeping an eye on this bush from a safe distance.

With him gone I can see that the horse chestnut he was perched in has had an eruption of bracket fungi.

Of what type it is I am completely unsure. I’m fascinated by the world of fungi, but have very limited identification knowledge. Its a spectacular looking arrangement nonetheless.

The park is quiet for a Saturday, the rain putting off the fair-weather folk. Robin is calling before I even reach their territory, clicking and fussing in the trees and then diving down to the mealworms.

I don’t hang around there too long today, just long enough to check that all is well and to leave them food. I’m so fond of these particular robins and right now its all good news from them. I don’t want to risk anything there.

Round at the black spruce and there are squirrels. Lots and lots of squirrels. They’re on the tree, they’re foraging on the ground and they’re very happy to see me. Once I start handing out nuts its a steady stream of little faces appearing on the stump and in the V of the branches.

 

Braveheart and Buddy are to the fore, they’re well practiced at this drill, but there are more squirrels than that today. I count 5 of them taking from me today, some for the very first time. They mostly behave themselves, only a little bit of chasing going on. They’re all hungry I suspect so they manage to keep themselves apart from each other, perching in different parts of the tree to eat. Eventually they start running off to bury nuts but thankfully this is at the same time as I’m running out of nuts. They’ve eaten everything I’ve brought with me!

The robin from the yew trees has been flying to and fro while I’ve been standing there, landing nearby to catch my eye. With the nuts all gone he finally gets his reward for persistence and flies straight down to eat the suet nibbles I dropped in the usual spot below the laurel bush. Its been a great walk, lots to see, but time to head home.