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Be nest friends; diary.

BIRDS nest at different levels and though dunnocks, blackbirds and robins may be happy setting up home in the thicket growth of the hedge, others prefer something a bit more elevated.

When our daughters were little - but big enough to use the school bus - we'd walk up our track together and along Pixie Lane, a stretch of 100 metres between the field and the road.

Back then, the hedges were high and, sporadically, all along their length were small trees - beech, rowan and ash.

When we'd walked to the bus, there were always yellowhammers on the lower branches of the trees, singing their glorious "a little bit of bread and no cheese".

There were dunnocks, finches galore, and blue and great tits. One year we even had a pair of little owls like bookends on each side of the hedge.

Sadly, years later most of them were felled. After that, few of the birds stayed - a persistent robin, an odd blackbird and a dunnock or two. But the land changed hands and there are more enlightened residents and many of the trees have reasserted themselves. The birds are back and the other day we heard a yellowhammer.

TWEET DREAMS BACK to Glebe Cottage and with these memories in mind, extra nest boxes have been going up to cater for our resident birds. I'm hoping we will get a few visitors from abroad as well.

JUGGLING ACT HAVIN A G to alternate writing and doing telly with real gardening can sometimes pose problems. Deadlines seem to coincide with fine, sunny days - and deluges with spare time.

We've been taking to covering up sections of the raised beds with tarpaulins or plastic sheet ahead of the rain.

It's worthwhile - not only does it keep the soil dry enough to work on, but it lifts the temperature too.


A perching yellowhammer

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 21, 2015
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