Bird Survey

Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary, Saturday, 13th February 2010

sparrowsparrowcollared dovenuthatchA COUPLE of weeks ago we spent an hour observing birds in the back garden for the annual RSPB Garden Birds Survey. There were plenty of birds but not much variety. Last year we had some of our less frequent garden visitors such as the woodpecker and nuthatch (right) popping in during the hour.

Watching Birdsbl;ue titBut we're lucky to have house sparrows (above left) still as regulars in the garden. They've learnt how to perch on the shepherd's crook feeder and lean over and peck at the fat balls which are really there for more acrobatic birds such as the blue tits (right).

A few years ago, the cock pheasant used to saunter into the garden with quite a harem of females. He's always on his own these days. He dwarfs the collared doves when he walks across the lawn to peck amongst the spilt sunflower hearts below the bird feeders.

Recently I started reading a 1946 Pelican paperback (which I'd picked up for just 7.5 pence in my student days) Watching Birds by James Fisher.

' . . . the pursuit of birds has, at once, the paradoxical attributes of sharpening the wits and relaxing the mind, consuming energy and giving rest, and satisfying both the scientific and the aesthetic facets of the mind.'

About this book, inside front cover, Watching Birds