Feeding Fledglings

Yesterday Jackie photographed these deep magenta gladioli Byzantinus in the evening sunlight.

This morning she focussed on her white and blush pink foxgloves

happily located beside viburnum Plicatum,

red Japanese maple and long lived camellia;

not forgetting blue iris, white Erigeron and osteospermum sharing a bed with diurnal orange poppies;

her favourite colour way of orange and purple pansies;

and burnished calendulas.

In the garden today one could almost trip over hungry fledgling birds.

Through the front windows Jackie watched and photographed a young dunnock being injected with nutriment.




Later, I watched an apparently abandoned quizzical youngster who had no instruction manual. It may have caught a winged insect, but didn’t really know what to do with it.

Meanwhile greenfinches swung on the almost empty seed feeder

while sparrows scrambled over each other for the last of the suet balls.

This evening, with Jackie’s superb extra garlicky savoury rice left over from yesterday, I produced a meal of Lidl’s prepared pork spare ribs Β and runner beans. I spent some time reading the instructions on the ribs packaging then was offered a quicker alternative method by the Culinary Queen, whereupon, feeling beset by Harry Enfield,

I had to get my head around a different procedure.

All turned out well in the end. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah.


  1. WHAT a lovely post! The gladioli and foxgloves are beautiful – as are the calendulas. Then there are those really good photographs of the youngsters being fed – a perfect combination.

  2. Could your garden get any more gorgeous? Love the pictures of the feeding birds still haven’t managed to capture sny of ours. Clearly I am going to have to invest in a bird feeder but my fear is that our huge black Hitchcockian birds will fly off with it.

  3. I have never seen a magenta gladioli, only yellow. That is gorgeous! I always love to watch the birds feed their young. Great shots by both you and Jackie.

  4. Gosh – Harry Enfield! I loved his personas back in the day. The gladis are gorgeous. When I was young they were such insipid colours, peach through orange and completely uninspiring. Now look at them! And wonderful shots of momma birds still attending to their fledglings and the wee chap with a new taste to consider. Your garden feeds my soul at this time of the year! <3

  5. So glad you figured out those spare ribs. Good for you! Oh, the pansies are so sweet. I love their little faces. And it was great to see the birds actively feeding. Thanks for sharing. The foxgloves were Bob’s favorite.

    1. I’m also amazed at the flower combinations we are getting this year, Camellias and foxgloves together, while roses are blooming in the rose garden, all a bit strange, but lovely.

  6. HA! The video made me snort-laugh! πŸ˜€ Ha! And re: the ribs…Glad the Culinary Queen stepped in and saved you some time, and possibly rib-failure. πŸ˜‰
    Word of Advice: Next time, before reading or doing, just ask her what to do. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

    OH! The fledglings are beautiful, sweet, and learning about the world! YAY! πŸ™‚

    I know I’m repeating myself (from my past comments), but pansies ALWAYS make me smile! And those royal-gem-like colors of purple and orange together are rich and heart-touching! They say, “Spring” to me! πŸ™‚
    I love the purple and yellow irises, too! πŸ™‚

    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  7. What beautiful photos, especially the young dunnock being fed! That youngster looks like a bottomless pit for nutrient injection. πŸ™‚

    You have gladiolas already? We won’t see ours for another month or two. Your gardens always look so inviting! The foxglove trumpets appear to be blasting out good cheer.

  8. It’s so exciting to see the fledglings being fed up close in these photos! You have a haven for birds and flowers. Good thing you don’t have a cat. πŸ˜‰

  9. Oh, I love the birds, of course! And foxgloves. Isn’t that a great name? I wonder where it comes from. Did little foxes wear the blossoms like gloves haha?

  10. There’s nothing sweeter or more entertaining than baby birds, and your photos are a complete delight. Beyond that, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen gladioli in a garden I grew up with them as a ‘funeral flower’ — the only time I’d see them was at funerals, or sometimes in floor bouquets decorating a church for a regular worship service. Now I’m thinking their size might have something to do with that. You need something a little larger in a space like that. Forget-me-nots or marigolds never would do!

  11. Gladioli have the ability to take me back to student days when even though finances were always in doldrums I loved to put a fresh bunch in the vase twice a week or so. Great, smiling flowers and fledgling birds photographed to perfection. I loved the quizzical expression on the face of the little guy undergoing training in living.

  12. Such a long time since I watched any Harry Enfield, thank you.
    I loved seeing the fledgelings and those flowers are just too gorgeous.
    What method did you eventually use for the spare ribs?

      1. Ah, thank you, I shall apply that to similar oven-ready foods! I’ve started doing that with my home-made oven chips. Thank you, Derrick

  13. Foxgloves are one of my favourites and so reliable.
    A young sparrow keeps sitting on my shed and keeps shouting. The parents never come so eventually it realises that he has to feed himself and flies away.

  14. You have a wonderful selection of beautiful flowers, Derrick, and congratulations to the Head Gardener. I especially loved the foxgloves.

  15. All the flowers are so beautiful, and Jackie’s shots of the fledglings are so sweet. I’ve sometimes seen parent birds feeding their young while both are perched in our feeder. I’m glad you got dinner sorted out!
    (The video was amusing.)

  16. The gladioli and foxglove are just splendid! The bird photos were well done, too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a clear close-up of the parent bird feeding the fledgling. The Harry Enfield video was hilarious! I’ve not encountered him before.

    1. Thanks very much, Liz. Harry Enfield’s most endearing characters were teenage friends Kevin and Perry (played by the brilliant Cathy Burke) who would be vile to their own respective parents then all sweetness and light when visiting the other’s.

  17. Thanks to you I have finally found out what it was I had planted in my balcony pots: gladioli!
    Loved the orange and purple pansies!

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