Sunday, 16 August 2009

Orchard report

Yesterday we harvested the grapes. It was a poor harvest, about half what we got last year. We think the freeze last spring might have gotten some of the grapes, and we also had quite a bit of bird damage.
It's a big year for birds; they're pecking at the apples more than usual. Of course, we feed lots of hummingbirds and seed-eating birds, but they're not the ones eating the fruit - mostly robins and mockingbirds and bluebirds, we think. We don't want to kill the birds. In fact, a couple of days ago we very carefully cut a baby mockingbird out of the grape nets. She was really caught and squawking, but while Tom went to get the scissors, I put my hand over her head and she quieted down, just like a parrot. Her mother was circling and looking like she might attack us. When we got her free, we set her on the branch of a tree and hoped for the best.

The fourth row of Rome trees seems to be particularly hospitable. We have three nests in that row and today I got pictures of all three mothers, two mourning doves and a goldfinch. They were very courageous, holding their ground while I took the pictures. Here they are:

Mourning dove holding her ground.

Female goldfinch above and her eggs. It's a really tight nest.

Second mourning dove
Rosie enjoying a Rome.

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