Gardening with the robins and the resident pheasant.
We have been very busy preparing the vegetable garden for planting lately. Everything is very late this year as we could not get onto the ground until late March - it was just so wet so the potatoes went in about a fortnight late. We have reduced the numbers sown this year, just a row each of first earlies, second earlies and main crop. Ironically, almost as soon as they went in, we had dry sunny weather and were wondering if we should be watering but rain seems to be on the way again as we have had two days with some heavy showers. I have planted out a few broad bean plants (more germinating in pots in the cold frame), borlotti beans and brussel's sprouts. Unfortunately the pigeons immediately noticed the sprouts and before I had even thought about shielding them from their greedy beaks, they had shredded them. it remains to be seen whether they will survive and recover but I have them wired over now. The strawberries need weeding as do the raspberries but this is a mammoth job as there are huge number of plants.
The (male?) robin appears as soon as he hears the clink of fork or spade against stone and comes up close to scout for worms and little grubs.
He takes these back to the stable.
Today the hunter/gatherer seemed to be also the sitter. There is usually somebody permanently on the nest. I can't see in to see if there are babies but I expect there must be by now as they take three weeks to hatch.
Every year our garden is home to a resident pheasant. For some years I had a very tame one who would come running when called. This year our resident is very vociferous and has a mate (the previous ones were bachelors). His wife is very shy and disappears as soon as she sees me but Mr Pheasant stays a suitable distance and spots where I scatter seed for him. He is really very handsome!