27th April 2014

Two great birds are back visiting the garden again after a few weeks absence, probably busy getting nests ready. The Jay and The Nuthatch both start breeding in late April, and for both, it is only the female who sits on the eggs. Jays build untidy nests of roots, twigs and fibres in trees or shrubs. Nuthatches build their nests in holes in trees or walls  They will often take over a Woodpeckers old nesting-hole, skilfully reducing the hole-diameter by adding beakfulls of mud to the sides.

The Jay, a frequent visitor to the garden again.

The Jay, a frequent visitor to the garden again.

The Nuthatch is back on the feeders too.

The Nuthatch is back on the feeders too.

One of my favourite wild flowers of this time of year is also great in shady, damp areas of the garden- the Dusky Cranesbill or Geranium Phaeum. The native form has deep plum petals, like crumpled silk, but you can also buy white and mauve varieties for the garden- cut the flowers back after the first flush and it will flower again long into summer. Insects will love it, and Goldfinch will enjoy the seed later in the year. Conditions: Cool with sun and showers. Temperature: Max 13- Min 9c

Dusky Cranesbill, with its crumpled petals and long stamens.

Geranium Phaeum, with its crumpled petals and long stamens.One of the paler, garden forms

Dusky Cranesbill- the deep plum coloured native form

Dusky Cranesbill- the deep plum coloured native form

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