It is a delight that, as the garden is growing and the habitats are starting to expand, the range of birds in the garden is increasing. But the most regular visitors are still crows, or more accurately rooks. I have no prejudice against them, even though they really are the most scruffy, unkempt creatures, but that is hardly their fault. We also get a few Jackdaws, easily distinguished by their grey head and these are much more attractive, to me at least. Rooks, as well as being sociable and frequently present in groups of a dozen or so. They are, like starlings, quite fun to watch but along with their intelligence, quite annoying in the garden. They seem to be attracted to white things in the garden and they nip off snowdrops, often attack the first white daffodils and uproot white plastic labels. I am tolerant of most of these activities but they decided that they wanted to nip off the stems of some of the new asters. Curiously they only attacked those with a single stem. Whether these plants will try again with more shoots I can’t tell but it is rather distressing. On the same day of thuggery they also decided that the stems of my new white Centaurea montana, which had just opened the first flowers, were an affront too and nipped them off. They don’t eat what they attack but just leave them laying on the soil to wilt.
I was ready to protect the brassicas from the occassional wood pigeons and put up CDs on canes which, so far, has worked. The pigeons do still visit but I am pleased to see that they are more interested in the patches of hairy bittercress that I miss when weeding – and they can eat as much of that as they like.