Getting and spending we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours …"
MY WALKS around the nearby streets of Cowes can be upsetting if I discover that another tree has been removed, especially if it was a significant one where birds fed and nested.
So I return home to our garden. Our garden is full of shrubs and some taller trees and is not particularly tidy but it provides food, water and shelter for birds. It is not really high maintenance as there are lots of ground cover plants. The plants are a mixture of indigenous, native and some exotic species but they provide the nectar, seeds and insects necessary to feed many bird species.
There is no need to provide extra food for birds, which is actually not a good idea as they can become dependent on you, and it can also upset the balance of species. If you have a supply of water and a garden that provides a food supply the birds will come.
Part 1: The residents
Where their small nest is usually remains a mystery but, suddenly, the adults turn up at the water bowl with young already flying but still being fed. Thornbills are probably not noticed by many but they are sweet little birds. I always think of the biblical text "the meek shall inherit the earth" as I watch them getting on with life without fuss.
The fantail is a friendly bird who will watch with interest when you are gardening and flit around hoping to grab any insects that you disturb. It loves a dip in shallow water, tail moving constantly, and chatters loudly when it finds the water level is too low. I have frequently gone outside, at its insistence, and topped up the bird bath while it watches, and as soon as you move away it's back bathing.
Solace of birds, part 2: The regulars