A collection of writing, images and sounds inspired by natural history, by Somerset artist Duncan Cameron and Norfolk musician Adam Clark
Friday, 25 February 2011
The competition for mates, territory and food is so clear in the garden at this time of year. The male robins and chaffinches are notably aggressive, but the blackbirds are most likely to come to blows. The whole enterprise seems ritualistic, as they pace up and down in parallel, before turning in opposite directions. There is sometimes posturing with leaves, but if neither is persuaded to back down, fights often ensue. These are usually brief comings together whilst rising a few feet into the air, in which the objective seems to be pinning the opponent to the floor before pecking and clawing at him. It is startlingly brutal at times. Needless to say it is mostly the males who indulge in this posturing and squabbling; although females will chase a rival, they are mostly busying themselves in the hedge with nest-making.
Other signs of spring gather apace; the daffodils are on the cusp of flower and last night's cycle ride in mild dusk was accompanied by the first bats of the year, swooping low into the road to feed on drowsy insects attracted by our lights.