Friday, 8 May 2009

Tuppence a Bag

It's a long time since you could feed the birds for tuppence a bag. These days, the supply of wild bird food is big business and the food itself comes in 20kg sacks with prices to match. And there's more: We lovingly provide our feathered friends with somewhere to perch, drink and bathe, often much better facilities than they enjoy in their own homes, and there are feeders especially designed for almost every kind of bird food you can imagine (well if you supply the food, why not create special feeders in which to serve it).

I bought my friend Sandra a bird feeder for her birthday last December. It was a small, yellow, wooden house enclosing a house-shaped cake of bird food. She loved it of course, and placed it near her kitchen window so she could watch the birds when she was washing the dishes. I think it was the sight of a nuthatch feeding that initially captured her attention and which led her one day to buy another feeder, and then another, until now she has quite a collection. And all of the time, she is attracting more species into her garden. Her excitement was dangerously infectious when we last spoke, to arrange a birdwatching day out as you might expect, and we spent as much time comparing notes about the birds that visit our respective gardens as a pair of thirteen-year-olds might about the boy next door.

And yet, this doesn't stop us from wanting the best we can afford for the birds we welcome into our gardens, and not least because of the pure, old-fashioned, pleasure they provide. Long may it continue.

Hard times for this Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus): Winter feeding is particularly important

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Siskin (Carduelis spinus)

11 comments:

Stewart said...

Nice Blog Emma, I'll add you to my links...

EmptyNester said...

Very nice post. What precious little birds! Now I want to go out and buy ANOTHER feeder. LOL

Greyscale Territory said...

These little ones are delightful! Great to see that they are getting help with food in the winter days!

Gary said...

Really good detailed close-ups of interesting birds. Boom & Gary of The Vermilon River, Canada.

Springman said...

I love the mood of your writing. There is nothing like a shared passion. Most times a million words is not enough to sum up the simple pleasure of observing this planet and our earthly neighbors. To flip that switch in someone, to see that sensativity develope in another goes beyond words.
Your pictures, of course, are perfectly detailed and completely enthralling! ;-)WBW

theconstantwalker said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

holdingmoments said...

Lovely shots Emma, especially the Siskin.

A great reminder to feed the birds too; especially in this weather.
And you're right, they bring so much joy with their visits.

Dixxe said...

You have a wonderful variety of birds at your feeders! Wonderful photography too...very bright and crisp-

ascu75 aka Don said...

I love my birds and people often give gifts of feeders birdboxes etc the only problem I have is keeping them all full as I can no longer get down our garden steps. Often you can hear my wife telling the birds off for eating faster than she can refill the feeders. Have a good Christmas. XXX Don

Sally in WA said...

Cute little birds. Nice shots!

Hilke Breder said...

Enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the photos - terrific images!