I heard a woodpecker drumming

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) - Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

The garden and nature is a wonderful antidote to the difficult times we are going through at the moment. Taking a moment to look and listen helps me stay calm and in the moment.

I heard a woodpecker drumming, just now. I thought it was the workmen, but no, there it was again. A short, reverberating rattle against the trunk of one of the  skeletal trees. It’s the right time to be heard. Few leaves to dull the sound, and nobody else about except the mewing buzzards overhead and an exuberant dunnock, who having explored the titbits under my bird table is now perched on top of the fence proclaiming to all who will listen.

goldfinch small garden bird

Goldfinch (c) Neil Aldridge

There’s hardly any traffic about and the Gorge is filled with birdsong. Listen. A robin’s soft burble, underneath the insistent ‘teacher, teacher teacher’ call of a great tit. A small ‘charm’ of goldfinches with their twinkling song wait higher up in the branches of a sycamore, holding out for a vacancy on niger feeder hung  by the shed.

Outside on the patio, a clumsy wood pigeon waddles about between the plant pots and scatters dust and seeds as takes flight on a squeaky wing. It’s now sitting on my railings in an expectant way – willing me to put out more food, but too frightened to come much closer. In the morning sunlight the pale pink and soft purple sheen of its plumage makes it an attractive bird to look at. It’s a pity it has poor manners and treads on all my plants.

Wood pigeon

Wood pigeon - Amy Lewis

A grey squirrel has dug up the bulbs of some Byzantine Gladioli – leaving soil and the white stalks scattered around, but the yellow tulips are magnificent and draw my attention away.

Jan garden flower pot

I am really pleased with my ‘spring flower planter’, the snake’s head fritillaries and the cowslips look wonderful together. The garden and nature is a wonderful antidote to the difficult times we are going through at the moment. Taking a moment to look and listen helps me stay calm and in the moment.

Jan by the pond

Jan Mckelvey

Reserves Manager, Shropshire Wildlife Trust