Feed The Birds

NuthatchSadly it costs more than ‘tuppence’ a bag but is well worth it. Although I keep the feeders topped up all year round as recommended by the experts I always feel I am making an even more important contribution in winter.When trees and shrubs are devoid of leaves we get a really good view of our garden birds and as someone who always has an eye for a potential painting I have an extra incentive.  I am really fortunate with the variety of birds visiting the garden but I was really pleased to see a Nuthatch a couple of weeks ago. This pleasure we get in the unusual is understandable but I get just as much pleasure from ‘common or garden’ varieties. I have recently completed a painting of Goldfinches and the Blue Tits doing their circus act on the Honeysuckle outside the window are just demanding that I add them to my list of subject matter. It is human nature I think to dismiss the wildlife we see day to day and chase the ‘celebrities’ and this is very common in my fellow birdwatchers. Recently at a hide I visited; three of the locals arrived and set up their scopes, at this time I was entranced watching a Heron fishing right outside the hide. The three compadres had a brief look; bemoaned the fact there were no migrants and went off to another hide. Now I accept they probably see Herons all the time but surely watching a Heron fishing at close quarters is more rewarding than seeing a Little Stint at 500 metres through a scope! This leads inevitably to our Twitcher friends who career all over the country for a glimpse of a bird missing from their ‘list’. This quest for maximum species even if only a brief glimpse borders on sad, it might as well be football cards. Well that’s me alienated a vast percentage of fellow bird watchers, what do I know?