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).
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.
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!
cooed an approving pigeon.
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.
that is what you could call Avian Heaven.