It’s April and I can’t believe how cold it is out there. I am still feeding the garden birds. The finches and tits get sunflower kernels, and the container is invariably raided by the local squirrels who are doing their best to gnaw through the plastic.
I have been told (by the Bird Man at Merriments, the local nursery) that once you start feeding birds you have to keep going all year round – although I have also been told not to put out whole peanuts at fledgling time (I don’t put peanuts out anyway).
But I am slightly alarmed that my rediculously tame pair of robins (one of them comes in the house and sits on my desk if food stocks run low) seem to be feeding their fledglings on the porage oat/groundnut oil mixture that I put out, and which is very popular with the Biddy and Raymond Blackster and a noisy gaggle of uncordinated starlings and even with the kamikaze, headbanging chaffinch, who repeatedly and mysteriously throws himself at my conservatory window for an hour or so each morning.
Clearly my oat cuisine has not killed the robin babies. But I half expect them to emerge from the nest in a few weeks time the size of small woodpigeons – and wearing kilts.