The view from my kitchen window …

… is good today despite the pouring rain. I can see the 15 bird feeders, some hanging from the trees the others from a feeding station. Around the corner suspended from the fir tree are another six feeders. They hold a variety of tempting foods; peanuts, mixed seeds, insect suet pellets, suet balls and sunflower seeds. I read that goldfinches love niger seeds so I bought them only to find that no bird in my garden would eat them. My birds seem to be selective eaters. The sparrows arrived from their usual haunt in the front garden. They and the robins have learnt to land and eat from the feeders although it took a long time. Today they were rubbing shoulders with each other feeding eagerly, the blackbirds, dunnocks and chaffinches waiting underneath for the scraps were soon joined by the fat wood pigeons and the collared doves.

A male pheasant strutted across the garden to join in but not until he had chased the pesky grey squirrel away. To watch a pheasant or a moorhen chase a squirrel is fascinating. The squirrels even run from a baby moorhen chick. Not as brave as they make out!

The nuthatch put in an appearance. They had babies last year and it was lovely to see them bring their young to eat the sunflower seeds. The long tailed tits arrived in a flock then dispersed to all the feeding areas. The blue tits, great tits and coal tits had to wait their turn and made their feelings known from the sanctuary of the bushes.

The sparrow hawks must have fed well somewhere else as there was no sign of them today. I saw a little bobbing action out of the corner of my eye. It was a grey wagtail, the first I have seen for a couple of years. We have a pair of pied wagtails who run up and down the roof then bob along the drive. They nest in our neighbor’s stables opposite but they were absent today. No sign of the mistle thrushes either who much prefer two doors up where they have their favourite stone anvil and a plentiful supply of snails. Even the usual magpies, rooks, crows and jackdaws were non showers.

The greater spotted woodpeckers landed on the suet pellets and balls. Sometimes we have up to five between four feeders. I could see the green woodpecker in the distance as it suddenly took off from the bank. If you count the buzzards high in the sky that makes sixteen different species today. A good count and a delightful way to complete the mundane task of washing up. Sometimes life isn’t so bad.

Briony Allen

Where the wild flowers grow

Will there be White Violets left to flower beside the Purple ones by the Village Hall bench in a couple of months? And will Germander Speedwell and Yellow Archangel , blue and gold together with Wood Avens meet me on the corner of Trumpet’s Lane in early May?

Greater Celandine hidden in the hedge near the gate to South Cottage with its orange sap for warts, comes back faithfully every Spring. And oh, new orchids in the Upper Churchyard at St. John’s bring special focus to our visit to family graves. How my mother loved Ox-Eye Daisies when she was alive – she would have so loved to see it now looking so natural.

And then the damp wild verge on the corner of Toll Rd with its Greater Willow Herb and Sweet Galingale left tall as shelter for larvae, winter food for small creatures and spring emerging insects. Could we see glow worms back this year, once visible all along the verges in late summer?

Has 2020 brought you nearer to nature as its legacy to us all? Do you find yourself caring more about its survival in bleak times than tidying it away and do your eyes have a softer gaze at plants here and there struggling to keep their heads above the cutting line?

A generation ago someone called Mrs Roberts used to take children on Nature Walks round the village. We could offer to do a Village Walk in Spring if there is interest. Last year there was a Blue Bodied Chaser Dragonfly on the hedge outside the Church newly emerging. You never know what you might find this Spring! We need them all ..

If you would like to be involved with the Wild About Warbleton Project then please do email info@bodle.com to be put in touch with Caroline or Flowie or join the Whatsapp group who share spotting of wildflowers seen around the village.

Wild About Warbleton

Biodiversity ..

.. is the survival of all species on the planet – humans and nature are inextricably intertwined.

The carbon storage of a biodiverse meadow or fragment is capable of better carbon storage than a mature woodland over the same square meterage.  (see Plantlife website). That is to do with the health of the soil beneath and interaction of everything that is alive and working well.

Wild About Warbleton is a lobby group that promotes biodiversity in our locality, through protecting wildflowers and encouraging pollinators for butterflies and bees to thrive in verges, hedgerows, meadows and anywhere else they can.

It is linked with a larger network of “Wild Abouts” that are growing across East Sussex, as people are recognising the critical role that biodiversity has to play. There is now a legal requirement for councils, churches and Statutory Authorities to change their policies to meet the national targets on biodiversity.

If you are interested in becoming more informed about the biodiversity in Bodle Street Green and further afield then do ask to join the Wild About Warbleton WhatsApp group. It is administered by William Del Tufo who will invite you to join on 07515 402946.