I took my cup of tea out onto the terrace and sat for a while to watch the birds and anything else that was stirring.
I usually make a pot of tea to drink with my breakfast. I tend to eat breakfast sitting in my bedroom, in front of the window overlooking the fields to the east of the house. However, today, there was very little stirring so, having finished eating I took my tea out onto the covered terrace which looks south into the main garden
I say after I’d finished eating, but I don’t really eat much breakfast, usually just a slice of toast and of course, my big pot of tea. This morning I had bread and butter as I had baked a multi-cereal and nut loaf and it smelled so delicious in the kitchen.
The terrace is open sided but covered, which this morning was a great thing as it was pouring with rain. In fact, it was both cold and raining and for a moment I considered just going back inside to the warmth of the house.
Sitting on the terrace you look at a very old fig tree which I neglect quite badly and allow to run free. I’ve hung a couple of bird feeders in it’s branches,, a couple of different nuts, a coconut and a feeder of assorted seeds, which attracts quite a few small birds. This is really why I like to take my tea out there. It makes a lovely relaxing way to wake up before starting my day. Now I’m retired I have much more time in the morning to enjoy life without the rush to catch a crowded commuter train.
However, this morning I guess all the small birds had looked out of the window and said, “It’s Sunday and it’s raining, I’m going back to bed!” and I finished my mug of tea unaccompanied.
I was just about to give up and go inside to dress, yes, I was still in my dressing gown, when a Great Tit flew into the fig tree and started hopping from branch to branch. It only took a few seconds to make it’s way down to where the peanut feeder was hanging and it started to eat it’s fill. No sooner had it started eating than another one arrived and landed on the other nut feeder, also eating peanuts. I was pleased I’d stayed those few extra seconds.
I’m not very good at identifying the garden birds and I have told myself that, this year, I’ll make more effort. The first one I have learned is the Great Tit, with it’s yellow breast and black line down the front, along with those rather gorgeous white cheeks.
This expanding interest in garden birds has lead me to National Nest Box Week, which encourages everyone to put a nesting box in the garden. It’s organised by the British Ornithological Trust and they have a page that shows how to make a nest box. I followed these simple instruction and now have my first nesting box attached to a cherry tree in the orchard. Apparently the size of the entry hole helps decide which birds will use the box and I’m hoping my box will attract the Great Tits I’ve seen so many of in the garden. I’ll probably make another one but maybe with a smaller hole, suitable for blue tits, or an open fronted one for a Robin. I’ll let you know if they get inhabited. Follow the link “make a nest box” for full details about putting a nest box in your own garden
National Nest Box Week starts on St Valentine’s day each year. What better Valentine’s day gift to the birds in our gardens than for everyone to put up a nesting box. It’s a gift that will keep on giving.