What a pleasure it has been to be out in the garden for the past few days. The weather is so much milder and although we know that more cold weather might be just around the corner, it is such a treat to feel the warm sun on your face and see the first signs of life returning to the frozen ground.
I was delighted to notice the first snowdrop flowers beginning to open in one of our sunny borders this afternoon. The piercing clarity of the white flowers is always a shock after the dull days of winter. They are so white they seem to glow.
We are lucky to have thousands of snowdrops here at Bannockburn but their location is not such a blessing. Many of them are growing on the little slope beside the Cottage. This area will be part of the roadworks needed for the new entrance so we have a massive job looming to relocate as many of these as possible before the end of April. It seems a shame to move them after they have been flowering there for so many decades but if we are careful where we replant them they should flourish and hopefully create their stunning drifts of snow-white blossom for many years to come.
This has been a wet winter and the dull leaden skies have made it feel very long and dark.
As a result of the constant rain, we were pleased to see the Doocot Loch reappear in December. This year it seems bigger than ever and is covering a huge area of the field. The sheep and deer are regular visitors to the water’s edge to drink and I dare say many a fox and rabbit drink there under cover of darkness as well. Our local seagull population are regular visitors and they seem to spend hours just bobbing about on the surface of the water. It has been great to watch large flocks of geese regularly flying in and out of the surrounding grassy fields and congregating at their winter spa retreat in Bannockburn. We did wonder if it might become the Doocot Curling Pond but thankfully the freeze broke and a thaw set in.
Just before Christmas we rescued and renovated an old bird table. Every day I am at the house I put out seeds and mealworms for our feathery friends – although I think some little furry friends have also been climbing up to the feeding table to eat. Hungry Robins have been flying in to eat before I have even finished putting out the seed and they have become quite tame. Today I noticed several Goldfinches and a Great Tit feeding there.
Maybe next weekend I’ll go up to the house to do the RSPB Big Birdwatch. The Big Birdwatch
The Big Birdwatch is great fun to do. Fill up your garden feeders and settle down into a cosy chair to watch for an hour, counting all the different species that fly in to feed. You are helping to record how birdlife is coping with climate change, bird flu, winter weather and so much more – ultimately helping them all to survive. Let’s face it, life without birds would be very dull.