The real hot days of summer (la canicule) are behind us. Amelia and I found that this summer with the temperatures often between 35 and 40 degrees Centigrade, we were sitting less in the garden. Oh, well, I told her, it is a good excuse to go to the beach!
Now in late September it is milder and we can attend to the neglected tasks in the garden. And to admire the autumn flowers and of course to sit down for a cup of coffee.
Our garden is usually very peaceful, except for the chattering of the birds. But the garden would surely not be the same without the birds.
When we first bought this house we had very few visiting birds. Now I am amazed with the variety of the birds. They all need water, and so we have placed several watering havens for the bees and the birds.
The hoopoe has become a regular summer visitor to the garden.
The green woodpecker made a bright splash of colour in the garden. It is the first year that I have seen the woodpecker in the front garden.
The Redstarts have remained one of my favourite birds. This year they occupied four nests that I had made for them and they raised at least four young ones in each nest! We get both the black Redstarts as well as the common Redstarts.
Birds require plenty of water, not only to drink but to keep their feathers clean and their antics in the trough provide us with lots of amusement. We see Redstarts taking their bath almost every day at the moment.
I am almost sure that they actually enjoy frolicking in the water as much as my granddaughter used to do.
The sparrow make their nest under the eaves, and I am sure that they must have had three broods this year. Like all baby animals, they too look cute.
But without a doubt, my favourite, at least for this year, is the warbler (I believe it is the melodious warbler).
Sometimes we have mistaken it for a sparrow as it is shy and moves away quickly, but its fine beak is a give-away. The warbler has also started taking bath, but it is a quick dip in and out.
A couple of year ago, from a holiday in Malta, we brought with us a few seeds of what I call the giant fennel. It has grown to well over two metres high and its flowers certainly attracted the bees. Now in seeds, it seems to attract the warbler.
We shall certainly try to replant it next year, if nothing else to make sure that this beautiful bird keeps coming to our garden.