Bird watching is taking up my work timeBy Adrian Lawson
December 12, 2008
If you have been putting food out for the birds they will have reason to thank you over the last few days.
If you are like me and feed birds all year round you will have a regular range of visitors, and in really cold weather like we have had the number of them will go up.
Some people only feed birds in the winter but if you do the numbers will be lower.
It takes a while for the local birds to find the food, and the new winter visitors follow the locals to the best spots.
My garden is undoubtedly one of the best spots. The range of birds is really good but the numbers of individuals is tremendous.
It is of course impossible to count how many there are. Is that greenfinch on the feeder outside my window the same one that was there five minutes ago? Or is it a different one?
I can only guess. But as there are now greenfinches on feeders all day long, a few weeks ago there were long gaps between visits. So the birds are now hungrier and more numerous.
Fortunately I have had some work to do, which involves sitting in my conservatory facing the panoramic windows.
Beyond the windows lies the garden, a tiny overgrown speck a wing beat from the town centre.
And in the garden are many feeders, with peanuts, sunflower seeds, sunflower chips, Niger seed, mixed seed, dried fruit, fat balls.
Some hang from trees, there are trays on the garden table, there are two bird tables. On a cold day these are teeming with birds. Some birds like the dunnocks and the great tits are there almost perpetually.
Others like the nuthatch or the long tailed tits visit regularly but are worth watching out for. Some are rare like the bullfinch who visits very rarely, or rare like the reed bunting who only turn up in the winter, but have become incredibly common on cold days recently.
I am always hoping the really unusual things like blackcaps or bramblings will put in an appearance, so I sit there watching expectantly. I also hope one day I will get the humble house sparrow back; they have deserted me, although there are still a few in the neighbourhood.
Of course all this bird watching means that I don’t get much work done until the sun goes down.