Blackbirds are back in force, fighting, mating, and building nests in the most inconvenient locations. Several parts of the garden are now practically no-go zones, with a pair of Blue Tits nesting in the dry-stone wall, and Blackbirds returning to the willow trellising without a thought for how vulnerable to cats they'll be there. We've done our best to secure the area, let's hope it's enough.
Gold Finches are fairly common garden birds, but their uncommonly beautiful plumage make them a rare treat for us. A pair have been visiting the garden for the last few days, and I've been determined to catch a photograph of them at play. Note to self: Must get a decent zoom lens.
As for the birdsong, it's been deafening, with one call standing out from the crowd. For the first time this year a Cuckoo has been calling nearby, a welcome visitor as the RSPB have now given this bird Red Status due to a recent sharp decline in numbers.
Interestingly, the Cuckoo call is also the traditional signal that things have reached maturity in the ciderhouse. We've already broached our first cask, but it was nice to hear natures own confirmation that the season is now underway, particularly on the day that folk from Newark CAMRA are coming to collect cider and perry for their festival.