Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Easter weekend

A few days away from the office, and some glorious spring weather. Slow worms were under the sheets of corrugated iron that I have strewn around the garden to provide a hiding place for them. Also a common shrew and a bank vole were under the sheets as well. The dawn chorus seems a bit better than recent years with at least four singing male blackcaps. And I saw my first swallow on Saturday. And best of all, in our tiny patch of woodland, I found a nice crop of Morels -- a spring fruiting fungus, that is truly delicious.

And an interesting piece of behaviour. Over winter I have kept our five Japanese Quail in the greenhouse -- they hate the wet cold English winter, and seemed very happy, and became exceptionally tame. On Sunday, I decided to put some seed trays in the green house, and gave it a thorough wetting, and the quail also had a great time in the shower. Then next day their behaviour totally changed. They became very flighty -- they had only ever run around, never taking flight -- and very vocal. Did the shower I had given them, trigger a migration response? Unfortunately none of the books I have (including the Handbook of Birds of the World give any information that enlightens me on this. Any leads from my readers would be

And so today, back to work, with a few donations resulting from Simon Barnes' article in the Times (fewer than I expected, probably because with the beautiful weekend weather, no one was reading their papers, they were all in the garden!)

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