Engaging with birds in your garden when you just can't be bothered
I know that isn't a catchy or motivating title for a blog post but guess what?... two years into the pandemic and I have bounced in and out of my enthusiasm for nature. I need to bounce back in and focus on the micro of the world again. The comfort of small things. I am hoping that birds can distract me from the misery of this cold February weekend.
So with that in mind. I have decided to revisit my bird feeder. I put it up a year ago and it was on my back patio door for 10 months and then it fell down and I left it there. The ground scattered with uneaten and rotting bird seed. A buffet for rats. A shameful reminder that I am constantly failing to keep on top of things. One bird visited once ....which was a pretty exciting moment. I can't remember what the bird was though which is slack I know. So I am girding my loins and having another go. I want to participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch. I do! I want to be that parent, the one that does wholesome stuff with her kids.... make energy balls, knit socks.
My bird feeder is fairly fancy, a see-through one you attach to your window. Imagine the intimate joy of watching birds feeding from your sofa! That was the rationale. However, my back yard is a sea of wooden decking with minimal greenery to harbour our feathery friends. But at the front of my house is a teeny tiny garden overlooked by a municipal Lime tree. So I have washed off my feeder ...apparently they need to be kept clean and I have made a big deal of sticking it to my lounge window. I made a lot of noise...I used a step ladder and I was hoping that local birds would notice me and think, wow a new eatery has opened! I'm not sure it works like that...the sky is grey, the bushes are stripped of leaves and there is no sign of a bird anywhere. Yet there are reasons to be cheerful bird-wise. Last spring I saw two jays in that very Lime tree. I had never seen one in my life....ever. So I took it as an omen. The good type obviously.
I have until 20th February to record my findings to the RSPB Big Garden Watch. Not a massive window of time...so the pressure is on. I wondered if I should do something fun and motivating like having a BrewDog every time a bird visits. In case there is a deluge you will be glad to know that I am not short of bird food. I have a 5 litre bin of Seed Mix Wild Bird Food. So unusually I have all the resources I need for this project. Normally I am skint and under-resourced. But if you don't have a bird feeder you can make one by recycling a plastic bottle check out this video by Eco sapien https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yV6V6rtpyc
I am also going to try to document any action. So watch this space. Who knows another Jay may just drop by. If you want to join in the fun and I do mean that. Then visit the RSPB homepage and get twitching.
Garden Birdwatch helps us the RSPB monitor how garden birds are faring. Shockingly, we’ve lost 38 million birds from UK skies in the last 50 years, so it really is vital we do all we can to look after our birdlife. The RSPB depends on our support to save nature and to look after places where wildlife can thrive.