We have been slowly working away on different projects in the garden, the list changes with the seasons and what becomes a priority. For example the raspberries that once grew where the hot house now is spent weeks in the wheelbarrow but new growth meant a quick decision on where to replant them, decisions seemed to fall into place quickly once I decided not to grow the different raspberry varieties together. As always I am reminded of my own advice, take a big problem and break it down into smaller doable solutions, the rest will fall into place and it did.

Our gardening jobs and maintenance jobs have been stopping and starting as is the way when there are work and study commitments, limited daylight hours and the weather not necessarily working with us on winter weekends. With the raspberries in place a new more secluded spot for this bird house became possible.

The bird house was a homeschooling project Liliana made with Michael’s guidance years ago and it was in need of a new coat of paint and a new timber pole. The bird house and the pole are made from hardwood timber offcuts. We try to stay away from using treated pine or a plastic alternative and I have never regretted this decision. The hardwood has a long life isn’t treated with chemicals and the part of the pole that wasn’t painted and in the ground once removed continues to break down returning to the earth. Michael chopped the rotted end off, the painted part of the pole will be put in the stash pile and used at some stage. The rotted off part of the pole will be chopped up and put at the bottom of a raised garden box that measures 1 metre square. Nothing wasted.

But back to the bird house in question that was in the middle of the big hen house garden. At first birds would use it as a resting place and sit on top of it, one year a pair of sparrows made a nest in it, didn’t hatch any young and never returned. Everything changed when a pair of Grey Shrike Thrush took up residence and hatched a chick. With the bird house placed smack bang in the middle of the hen house yard  the henhouse yard became a no go zone for fear of being swooped or interrupting the Grey Shrike Thrush and them abandoning the nest.

Apologies for the photos being a little unclear, catching a busy bird is quite the task when they camouflage in so well.

We watched from afar as the pair of adult Grey Shrike Thrush took in turns flying in and out of the bird house. At first to prepare a nest then to busily source food to feed their chick. Hoping to recreate a safer environment for the Grey Shrike Thrush pair when they nest again we have taken the opportunity to shift the bird house to a more secluded spot in the garden and tweek the bird house design. Adding a trap door for easy cleaning if needed once the birds have left the nest.

Tucked in the corner of Lil’s studio garden behind the Japanese Plum Tree and Mon Petit Chou rose we are hoping that the Grey Shrike Thrush will take up residence again. It’s good to have another job ticked off the list, a job we wanted finished before the nesting season begins. I love these projects, birds add so much life and fun to the garden.

Sending Light and Love,

Jude x



The Grey Shrike Thrush.

September 2, 2021



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