There are visitors and visitors. Some you look forward to seeing but their visit disappoints; others you steel yourself to welcome and they surprise you by their affability.
There’s a bunch of visitors who always come in a group, chatter incessantly but are highly entertaining and very amusing. They’re long-tailed tits. Then there are the greedy gang of greenfinches who come together – usually five or six – and take their positions at the feeding station, dropping food onto the floor in their haste to guzzle as much as possible in the shortest time. Timid visitors, and this year reluctant to come at all, are blue tits. Are they afraid of their bigger cousins, or is the winter just too cold to venture out?
Yesterday a great crowd of varied visitors all upped and left without so much as a ‘thank you for having me.’ They’d spotted an incoming visitor whose company they abhorred. Sad though I was to see the little ‘uns go, I was delighted to see the new arrival who sat motionless on the apple tree – long enough for me to get my camera and take a picture of her. She was a sparrowhawk. What a beautiful bird! But a dangerous one. Her beady eye and fiercesome beak are enough to make anyone fly a mile.
Yes, there are visitors and visitors. The sparrowhawk went on her way, her visit short but special. The good thing is the others have all come back. They know, metaphorically, which side their bread is buttered.