As autumn winds down and the supply of nuts and seeds becomes exhausted, the birds are coming to our bird table in ever greater numbers. Birds who wouldn’t dream of frequenting our back garden are starting to appear on a more or less regular basis. We’ve had several wood pigeons and a couple of collared doves hanging around trying to look as if they were just waiting for a bus, and the scraps that the tits, of various types, distribute over the patio are of no real interest – oh well, as it’s there I suppose I might as well . . .
Our resident Blackbird is very possessive and has been kept on his toes by the arrival of several other blackbirds on his territory, he hardly has time to chase The Robin away these days. I’m not sure if it is the right time for the shortages to begin to bite – so early in December – it’s a long time until spring creeps over the windowsill.
And here, right on cue, we have the Ivy in flower. These flowers are a bit old now but they have kept a batch of autumn insects going with their nectar and are hurrying along to the berry stage.
Wikipedia says that Ivy is poisonous to humans – but that its taste is so bitter that poisoning cases are rare. It also mentions that here in Europe its own predators keep it under control but in America and Australia it has escaped from parks and gardens to become very invasive.
There will be any number of Blackbirds, Pigeons and many smaller birds too, keeping an eye on these morsels, hoping that they will ripen to see them through the winter to come.