Sitting in the garden one warm late May afternoon I'm listening to the soporific summer sound of cooing wood pigeons.

Quite soon the soothing sounds lull me into somnolence ........ but not for long!

Suddenly I'm woken from my reverie by the high-pitched piercing trilling of a wren, so loud for such a tiny bird. He is building in one of my nest boxes and flies to the lawn to pick up pieces of grass and leaves, forming a bundle as big as himself which he stuffs into the nest hole.

On his usual chimney pot a blackbird sings, a very varied repertoire containing a phrase that mimics the ringing of a telephone. He then flies down to the lawn accompanied by his mate and they both dig up worms to feed to their fledglings nesting nearby.

High above a pair of swifts wheel and turn, alternately gliding then rapidly fluttering their wings, the sun glinting golden on the undersides of their pinions.

A mistle thrush is singing but I can't locate him as he always perches within dense cover. A very worn holly blue butterfly floats over the fence and perches on an ivy leaf while large red damselflies flit over the pond like mini helicopters A noise above makes me look up and I'm amazed to see two cawing crows mobbing a red kite sailing serenely overhead.

The red kite was almost extinct in the nineteen-fifties with only a couple of pairs nesting in wales but since then the bird has been re-introduced and is thriving.

This is the first time I've seen one over suburban London so he is probably prospecting for new territories.

All is quiet again apart from the wood pigeons so I doze in the sunshine in what has been a very productive afternoon's wildlife watching.