JUNE 2001

The garden is well populated with young birds just now and it is both interesting and understandable that the parents soon familiarise them with the bird table and nut feeder. This applies not only to the House Sparrow and Starling but also the likes of Greenfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Sadly, many birds are significantly down in numbers or have simply not appeared at all   this year. For example, in more than twenty years of record keeping, this is the first year that the Willow Warbler has not been heard from the garden. There appears to be no obvious or simple explanation for this.

Sedgwick Park HouseThe Hawthorn or Mayflower was very prolific this year and the heavy scent was particularly noticeable up and down the lane. It was noted that up the hill towards Sedgwick Park the flowers were invariably pink whereas down by the river bridge they were of the more usual white form.

The foot and mouth crisis drags on and some 3.2 million animals have been slaughtered in an attempt to stop the spread. It is hard to see that livestock farming will ever recover in some areas.

This is an interesting month for weather lore. Significant dates are St Vitus Day on the 15th and St John's Day on the 24th.

"If St Vitus Day be rainy weather
'Twill rain for forty days together" This overlaps with St Swithin's Day in July.
"Before St John's Day we pray for rain
afterwards we get it anyway"


HIRUNDINE 8/6/2001


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