Rural Reading: A feast for the birdsBy Adrian Lawson
September 14, 2012
Now that the Indian summer appears to have become a memory, it is time for me to do a bit of gardening. I need to get the garden ready for all the birds that are going to depend on it over the winter.
There is bird food to be bought, there are bird feeders to be filled, and even new bird feeders to find.
Even though I have had a few feeders up during the summer there aren’t as many birds using them as I hope to get in the winter.
There are of course lots of blue tits and great tits, a few sparrows and some greenfinches. All have been bringing their young to feed on the peanuts and sunflowers seeds.
The garden is full of spiders and beetles and caterpillars during the summer and autumn, but once the weather turns cold these can be hard to find.
This might be a good reason to put food out, to know that you are helping birds through the harsh weather, but there is another reason of course. I just love to watch them, and I love to see new visitors.
I have no idea if the goldfinch I am watching is the same as the one I will be watching tomorrow or next week, and the more I read about what other people have found the more curious I get.
I now know a lot of birds that spend the summer here fly south, and are replaced by birds from the north. My blue tit family might be miles away come Christmas, and the birds feeding on my peanuts might have flown a thousand miles just to spend the winter in my garden.
This morning I opened a box that had been delivered to my house, full of winter supplies for the garden.
Fat balls, suet cake, seed mixes and feeders were in the box. It didn’t take long to get the old feeders from the shed, fill them up and hang them from various branches.
The new feeders were filled and space found to hang them alongside the old ones.
By the time I sat down at the computer to write this article the birds had found the feast laid out for them.