Writing Portfolio

7.12.15

Feeding the birds (but not the squirrels)

One of the many joys of having a garden is that I can feed the birds – with this in mind, we have a feeding-station that provides various snacks for them in the front garden. It is cleverly positioned so that I can see it from the armchair in the lounge – I am quite literally an ‘armchair birdwatcher’! Peanuts, coconut halves filled with a fat-based concoction and a ‘Wild Birds’ seed mix (“gives your flighty little friends a tempting nutritious feast that’ll keep them coming back for more!”) are available for passing birds.


We’ve had all sorts of garden visitors. Admittedly back in January the Ring-necked Parakeets scared everyone else off during the hour I’d allowed for the Big Garden Birdwatch, but we’ve also had Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits, Robins, Woodpigeons (quite a few of those), House Sparrows, Blackbirds, Carrion Crows, Jays and on one memorable occasion a Great Spotted Woodpecker.


 We still have the stick-on feeder that we had in the flat – it’s now on the window of the spare room and it still manages to attract approximately no birds. Can’t imagine why.


Back at the front, there has been a problem of late: Squirrels. These animals, the bane of many a garden birdwatcher, have been trying to get at the food I’ve been putting out for the birds, and I’ve been fighting a running battle to try and stop them. The feeding-station does have attachments that can hold a water-bowls or a tray of kitchen scraps, but the squirrels were using these as a ladder to get at the feeders. So they went. Then the squirrels kept coming back, so the pole gets greased with WD40 on a regular basis!


Of late, a few more running repairs have been required. One of the feeders had the plastic parts chewed through in an attempt by the squirrels to get at the contents. 


That has now been replaced by the feeder with metal parts. There have also been issues with the feeding-station being a bit lop-sided (it’s rather top-heavy) so the pole has been hammered in a bit more. And what with it being winter and all, I’ve brought back the kitchen scrap tray attachment so bacon rind and cheese can be available. Hopefully it’s high enough so the squirrels can’t get at it…


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