Wennol Photography
Avian Heaven

Before I moved back to Wales I lived out in the country on the outskirts of the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire. There was a great thrill in seeing all the wild life outside the window, it seemed to be a constant procession of pheasants, ducks, sparrow hawks, foxes, weasels, deer – I could go on but you would be bored with just reading a list. Anyway on moving to Swansea and living a more urban life I suppose I got into the habit of not really taking such a lot of notice of the wildlife in the garden – not that I was blind to it, rather that it was all rather plain in comparison. I wasn’t one to keep a fully stocked bird table.

I do however seem to have a couple of avian friends in the garden, a robin that scuttles about near the swing in the summer pecking away in the flower border and a blackbird that sings me to a state of awakeness at break of dawn (or sparrow’s fart as that time is known in the country).

Just before Christmas though the bird table in Mum’s garden disintegrated so off we went to the garden centre to replace it but the one we bought was not suitable as when it was put together it appeared to have four legs whereas we wanted one with a post so it could be sunk into the flower bed. I made another trip and bought a suitable one and on the principle of ‘waste not, want not’ I found myself as an unwilling owner of a bird table. Gradually some breadcrumbs appeared on it and I watched the antics of the blackbird and the robin, as each one took a feed the other was watching from afar hopping about impatiently until he could stand it no longer then began the threatening low flying sorties and the roles changed … and so on.

“Coo” cooed an observing pigeon.

Much as I am unwilling to admit this I must confess that I was developing a sort of a caring attitude towards these two newly acquired dependents so it wasn’t long before I was thinking that they might need some water and a quick rummage in the shed revealed a pot saucer which would prove ideal as a provider both of drinks and a bath. Soon the blackbird was to be seen daintily dipping his beak and quenching his thirst, but if he could be compared to a wine sipper in a lounge bar the robin most definitely played the role of a red waistcoated real-ale guzzler in the saloon bar. Typically it was the robin who was later to be seen standing in the pot having a good old splash around. For the blackbird’s sake I renewed the water afterwards!

“Coo” cooed an approving pigeon.

Entertaining as this was I was rather disappointed that the drama was being performed by just two species and I quickly realised that this was all due to the food which I was putting out. Some nuts were hung from the table and I took up position at the kitchen window but these things don’t happen straight away and it was quite some time before a lovely little coal tit appeared hanging on the nuts for only a few seconds before flying off to the hydrangea bush to chew on his prize. Then on the snowy lawn in front of the conservatory window a most beautiful thrush appeared, the colourful plumage on its breast accentuated against the contrast of the white snow. It may have been a welcome sight for my eyes but the blackbird was having none of it and promptly chased it away.

“Coo” cooed a fascinated pigeon.

And it all carried on like that, a slight increase in diversity but nothing dramatic, fascinating nevertheless but the real treat came a few days later when I was lucky enough to have the company of a pair of great tits and in no time at all they were all over my nuts.

Wonderful, now that is what you could call Avian Heaven.



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