Hidden Treasures

I ambled down to the allotment later than usual this morning. I was greeted by Maude and Mavis at the door, looking distinctly unimpressed when I merely said hello and disappeared off to the Main Coop. With the big girls all fed, I moved onto the New Coop. Gertie made short thrift of the food in the little bowl as she perched rather precariously on my hand. She’s developed so much confidence when being held, she tries to scratch the food with her feet. Needless to say, it doesn’t always end well!

Cliff and Derek were busy working laying slabs at the top of Chris’s plot so he can access his plot safely. They have done an excellent job! Their hard work over the past couple of weeks has improved the site access significantly including widening a ramp, securing the base of the other ramp and paving the top of Chris’s plot.

After Derek disappeared off to work, Cliff and I sat down and chatted in the sunshine. He told me some very exciting news about the wildlife on the site. Over the past three or four years, Will and Cliff have been on a mission to make and put up lots of bird boxes in trees and hedges across the site. Six new ones have gone up in the past month and one of these new boxes is the home of a pair of long-tailed tits. We hope they will hatch some chicks in the coming weeks. But there was even more exciting news to come!

Cliff regularly feeds the wild birds who visit the site and in particular, two little robins who love sitting in the trees behind his shed. It turns out that a pair of robins has made a nest behind the back of the greenhouse, hidden deep within a small pile of pots and trays. Cliff has been keeping a really close eye on the robins and as of yesterday, there weren’t any eggs. We discussed the lack of eggs and decided it was probably quite early to expect the robins to be laying.

However, when Cliff took me to see the nest, we had an incredible surprise – four tiny speckled eggs in a horsehair and leaf nest! It was an absolutely beautiful site and one which reflects how the allotment changes with the seasons. Spring is one of my favourite seasons at the allotment because everyone comes out of hibernation, the trees throw out their leaves and blossom, birds return to the site and the days get longer. The discovery of the robin’s nest demonstrates the magic of spring…

The plans for this week involve finally getting organised with the seeds as well as cleaning out the chicken coops. The Nest House will be first closely followed by the Omlet. And while I think about it, I’ll need some new paint to brighten up the shed…


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