Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Feeding the birds


As the mild autumn weather gives way to chill mornings and cool days, the number of birds coming to the feeders in my garden continues to increase. The commonest at the moment are greenfinches (Carduelis chloris): yesterday I counted twenty. They really like the sunflower seeds. A close second are the goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), with at least a dozen buzzing round the nyjer seed feeders. Other species are attracted by the excitement, the starlings being the noisiest and the bossiest. I know they are unlovely, but they are full of character. And of course, sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus) regularly bombard the feeding station in the hope of catching a tasty breakfast.

A real bonus in the last few days has been the sight of a cock pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) picking its way across the lawn. This morning, I stood watching him for about twenty minutes, as if I had never seen one before.
Even in the field beyond, birds seem to become interested in what's going on, and it is not unusual for jackdaws, magpies and black-headed gulls to come down on the lawn to pick up scraps.
One day, when I am all grown up, I might stop frittering my days away watching birds, but, to tell you the truth, I don't intend to grow up. Ever.

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