Column: Sighting of long-tailed tit brightens the day

The sighting of a long-tailed tit was a highlight on the way to the paper shop.
The sighting of a long-tailed tit was a highlight on the way to the paper shop.

This is a fantastic time of year – particularly now the weather has become so much better.

There is so much to notice, just in a half hour spent out in the garden.

Today, as I sat out with a cup of tea I watched a pair of dedicated starling parents taking food to their nest tucked away up in the eaves.

I wouldn’t have known it was there but for the clamour of hungry cheeps which greets every visit from one of the adults.

Then I noticed a house martin swoop across the sky and over the house, the first I have seen this year.

Meanwhile, a beautiful common green bottle fly, with its metallic green body and alien red eyes was sunning itself on the arm of the bench.

Some birds are further ahead than the starling family.

I noticed an adult coal tit being followed from branch to branch around the rowan tree by a juvenile, which fluttered its wings to persuade its parent to carry on feeding it.

It seems quite early to have fledged already, but coal tits can have two broods in a good year, so maybe the adult will soon start rearing a new family all over again.

The beauty of watching nature is that there can always be an element of surprise – you see something interesting when you aren’t expecting it.

On a short walk to the shops the other day I turned a corner and there clinging onto someone’s hedge was a beautiful long-tailed tit, just a few feet away.

It hadn’t seen me, so I stopped to admire its pinky plumage and that long tail.

They are one of my favourite birds, so I drank in its beauty before it noticed me and was off.

Just a fleeting encounter, but one that lifts a trip to get the paper into something altogether less mundane.