Signs of spring are abundant these past few weeks. Birds are busy courting, flowers are showing colours and the apple tree turned green. A few weeks ago two pigeons were building a nest in our garden. They did so for about a week, but they must have decided to build a new nest somewhere else. Probably for the best as there are many cats visiting our garden, including our own two (though they are of the elderly kind and not as active as they used to be). I have seen a great tit fly in our nest box, so it seems that one is now occupied as well, like it was last year. This nest box is positioned on a cat free spot.
This winter our flying visitors didn’t eat too much seeds. We only replaced our 10kg bag a month ago. These weeks though, they are eating like crazy. Every third day we need to refill the silo and feeding table. As an experiment we bought a coconut shell filled with fat and seeds. This has proven to be very popular among the four starlings frequenting our garden. We probably order a few more. This feasting on seeds is similar to last year. Apparently the birds appreciate the easy food intake for themselves while searching insects for their offspring. They also appreciate the new water bowl in the apple tree. The one we bought last year hardly got used, probably due to its shape. This one is wide and flat. Lesson learned.
Other than birds I’ve spotted bumble bees, bees, wasps and the odd butterfly. To accommodate better for them I searched for extra plants in the garden. A journalist of the newspaper I read regularly wrote a series of planting more trees on his balcony in the middle of Amsterdam to create a green haven for birds and insects. What I learned from him (which he learned from experts) that it is important to create a good habitat for solitary bees instead of honey bees. Planting native plants is key. Therefore I ordered some of the plants he recommended. During Easter I planted them and one of them is already blooming. As our garden is facing north mainly, bees still have little to find in our garden. I hope they find enough elsewhere to survive.