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.
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Siskin (Carduelis spinus)