And I think to myself, what a wonderful world………….

By Bernie Bell

Today,  I stood at the kitchen window while  making my lunch, and five young swallows came and perched on the washing line, just across from me!  They sat there, chirruping and preening, while intermittently being fed by both their parents.  Seven swallows!  I tried to get a pic of the parents actually feeding the young ones, but they were too quick for me! There is one, which nearly catches it.

swallows B Bell 1

Nearly caught the feeding….

swallows B Bell 4


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  1. So do I! Sometimes I look out the back windows, and there are cattle in the far field, sheep in the near field, an escapee pig running circles round the neighbour’s house, and – birds, always birds – Sparrers, Pied Wagtails, Starlings, a Wren or two ( one time – seven Wrens, I kid you not, seven wrens, hopping about all over the wall) swallows, and…… A big, proper Scottish thistle came up at the end of the wall, I left it, as I like big, proper Scottish thistles. A few days ago, we saw two Goldfinches feeding, in fact, ravening, on the seeds. Not something we see often, here – maybe a bit exposed for them. When they finished, I went and gathered the seeds they’d scattered, from the gravel, and chucked them along the verge, hoping for more proper Scottish thistles, next year. Moral is – leave the thistles, and you might get Goldfinches.
    As I say – “And I think to myself………..” T
    Here’s a wee tale – there’s always a tale – written in October last year………

    “The sequence of events, was thus………….

    Fiona-Next-Door called round to see me, and I showed Fiona my copy of ’The Lost Words.’


    Fiona was entranced by it – oohing and aahing and showing husband Trevor particular pages. She has a particular fondness for Wrens, and was finding all the different little Wrens, on the outside and inside of the book.
    ‘The Lost Words’ is a book of charms, of spells designed to ensure that the names of birds and beasts and plants remain in our awareness, and that, hopefully, thereby, the birds, beasts and plants will be more in our awareness too. Strengthening the connection.
    The following day, I looked out the window and a flash of colour caught my eye. I could see something down the garden, just the other side of the pond (known as ‘The Far Side’). So I got my binoculars, and….it was three Goldfinches, feeding on the seeds of some Black Knapweed. One of them flew, so I followed its flight and it landed on another clump of Black Knapweed, along to the left, where there was another Goldfinch!
    I’ve only ever seen one Goldfinch in our garden before – a few years ago when there was one on a thistle in what we call ‘No Man’s Land’ as it’s now impossible to go there – so overgrown with….stuff.
    Each year, more plants arrive – the Black Knapweed are from seed given to me by our friend Linda, and they’re spreading – at first just a few plants, the wind carries the seeds across the garden, and there are more and more of them, which I presume is what attracted the Goldfinches. The different birds visiting increases every year, too, as the plants increase, as well as other forms of life.
    I’m pleased as punch. I stood watching them, through my binoculars, flashing back and forth between the two clumps of Black Knapweed, until they flew off. I hope they come back.
    I thought – “The Goldfinch spell is working!”

    I told Jackie and Fiona about this on Monday, and Fiona replied to say – “Today I heard a whirring sound and there was a wren flying up and down the hall!!” She opened the door, and the Wren flew away.
    The wren spell is working, too.
    I see this as being everyday magic, the kind that happens as you go along. True synchronicity, and connection.
    Thought I’d tell y-all about it.

  2. PS The down-side is…they poo on my washing! A small price to pay.
    Mike’s just reminded me that we also see Meadow Pippits, Twites, and Linnets, which come round from the meadow to sit on the wall.

  3. PPS And, a couple of days ago, Mike looked out and saw two young Goldfinches on the fence wire, just by the bird feeder. If that’s not the Goldfinch spell working, what is? Baby Goldfinches!

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