Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Winter Mornings

I've been getting up mega early these last few weeks, obviously to do some writing before heading off for the day job, but also for another, rather lovely, reason.  Winter is fast approaching and that means Bird Feeding Time! Actually, we should feed the birds at other times of the year too, especially in late spring and early summer when they are raising their young, and songbirds have two or three broods of chicks to feed, which sometimes means mum and dad go without.  

(c) RSPB

This year I've made more of my balcony, planting out wildflowers like poppies and cornflowers, bluebells and honeysuckle, and hanging up a few feeders.  I wasn't sure if the birds would come, as I live on a modern housing estate with no gardens to speak of, although backed by woods and farmland.   Well, I needn't have worried! First on the scene were a family of House Sparrows who were roosting in the eves of the house opposite and their young were just leaving the nest.

(c) RSPB

No sooner had I put the fat balls out (Super Suet Balls from the RSPB online shop, only the best!) but the parents were taking turns to fly across for 'takeaways' for their hungry fledglings.  A couple of weeks later, the Blue and Great Tits arrived and - while things were a bit quiet during September and October when there are lots of seeds and berries around - now the feeders are full all day every day.

(c) RSPB

Sometimes a dozen or so are flitting around the balcony and when the Sparrows pile in as well, it can get rather heated as they squabble over the best bits!  A couple of Chaffinches also turn up for the seeds on the floor (Sunflower hearts and wild bird mix) and occasionally Nuthatches and Coal Tits, and once or twice even a Greater Spotted Woodpecker.  And, of course, the nation's favourite, the Robin, who hops around under the fat balls hoovering up the bits that fall out. I've even seen  him trying to cling on to the feeder - without much success sadly!

So, not only am I getting more writing done on these dark, wet and windy mornings, but I have the wonderful pleasure of being serenaded with bird song too.  What better way to start the day?

Blue Tits on the Fat Ball Feeder