Friday, 16 February 2007

The pleasure of birds in the garden.

Growing in our garden are specimens of alder and hazel, planted for their catkins, cones and nuts, which attract siskins and goldfinches; many birches which support large numbers of insects and caterpillars, which are eaten by titmice and finches, and rowans for their berry-laden branches in Autumn.

Beside the outhouse is a willow bearing catkins in the Spring, which attracts insects and butterflies. At the other side is a beech hedge which, although only attracting small numbers of insects, makes an excellent nesting site for chaffinches and blackbirds.

In the early years we also encouraged birds by establishing bird feeding-stations and made use of old tree stumps to scatter food upon for ground-feeding birds such as the robin, blackbird and thrush. It was only a matter of time before this pattern of regular feeding encouraged the birds to come and sing their rapturous songs and stay to build their nests in the outhouse, the ivies, the eaves of our house and in the conifers and trees.

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