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Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Twitching Pout

I have to fess up.  I've become a bit of a birdwatcher.  A twitcher.  Never thought I'd hear myself say that.  Is it an age thing?
One of my uncles was a serious twitcher.  I've finally done him proud by joining his gang, though my twitching is the armchair type!

Herm Puffins, by Uncle.

My twitching started when The Photographer and his little helper put out food for the birdies in December,  here.

It didn't take long before our patio area became alive with twittering birds.  Since then I have become more and more drawn to just looking out the window.  Just looking.  No working.

Our first Frequent Visitor was a sparrow who The Photographer quickly named Fatty as he kept coming back for more seed.  The GKs reprimanded him - calling him Fatty was not nice, not kind.  They put their PC spin on it and named him Chubby.  And he was most certainly on the chubbier side of sparrow body types!

Before too long we'd set ourselves up with a dedicated bird watching window sill, with binoculars, GK's bird spotting book, periodicals from the RSPB.  Then I positioned my laptop so that I look directly at the birdtable.  And now I am distracted by the activities, the swooping, the games they play, the sense of order out there.
And the twittering, oh how I love their twittering.
The FVs are my guilty pleasure.  My distraction.  I don't get much work done.

The bird table soon was running out of seed at a speed that even little Chubby couldn't have managed.  I suspected the worst.  Rats.  That was sort of confirmed when I put out a mince pie as recommended by the Hastings Battleaxe here  -  and the mincepie disappeared.  Totally.  No crumbs.

We toyed with the idea that the recipient of the festive morsel could have been a seagull.  They're strong and fast and cunning. They swoop down and steal a bacon butty or a chip from your very hand as you sit on the beach munching. They do.

 However, today I think I can put my mind at rest.  Wood pigeons.  They've visited the table twice today.  Once for seed.  And then soon after I'd put down a mince pie.  Phew!

I immediately took the opportunity to allow myself distraction from my work.  For study, for research, you understand.  And what I have noted is that they have an established procedure for eating from bird tables.  And I love procedures!

Pigeon One arrives and checks out the joint.

Pigeon Two arrives at table, starts eating mince pie.
Pigeon One keeps watch.

When Pigeon One can no longer hold back, he/she joins Pigeon Two on the table.

It's a tight squeeze.  I think the tables are designed for the petites of the avian spectrum, for dainty tits and robins, not big-bruiser XXL pigeons!

Robins Wren and Robin, by Uncle.
(Erratum:  turns out one of my robin's is in fact a wren - The Photographer's 20 years of subscriptions to those RSPB mags has not been wasted!)

As I type I can see a tit at the hanging feeder, and robins and sparrows alternating at the table and yes, the robin finished off the remains of the mince pie.  There is a Natural Order out there.

I fear not much work will get done sitting in this position, folks :-)

Of course, the birds show no fear that a formidable cat is The Master at Chez Pout (I live here merely as his servant, in case you haven't already guessed).

Here he keeps watch, sleeps, a yard or two away from table and feeders.
He does open an eye to see what they're up to ... but only occasionally.

And now, instead of 25 Beautiful Homes, I get excited when this appears through  the letter box ...

For my name is The Pout, and I am an Armchair Twitcher.

I hope I haven't bored you with my new-found hobby.  My Old Lady Pursuit.  It feels so OAP! 
Do you birdwatch?  Actively outdoors?  Or cosily indoors, like me?

A la perchoine.


  1. Not bored at all! I do exactly the same! As I type this I can see straight into my garden. I have a bird feeder and I love to feed the squirrels. They literally all hang about and wait for me now in the mornings. The birds and the squirrels all lined up. I have had a squirrel tapping on my back door before because it was late! I feed seed and fat balls to the birds and monkey nuts to the squirrels x
    Oh and by the way, your cat is gorgeous!

  2. Laurie, thanks for your really sweet comment. You have a real bond with the animals and birds around you. What a wonderful start to your day. We don't have squirrels over here, they sound like right little characters!
    I will pass your compliment on to Bertie, he'll be thrilled!

  3. I love puffins. I've not seen one in "real life". They're beautiful.

    1. Well, then we must be lucky over here. They take up residence on the cliffside of our neighbouring island. They are so cute and really fast fliers but they must have been at the back of the queue for landing lessons, the poor things land rather clumsily on the ledges.

  4. Mr Him commented just this morning that he saw a thrush in our garden. He's a bit of a twitcher. I'd like to see puffins.

    1. And there's me thinking I was alone - I'm definitely not after this post! Suggest to Mr Him that he take you on a Herm Puffin Patrol, it's a lovely experience.

  5. I love the birds that frequent my garden, being near the seaside I have to be careful what I put out! Nice watching the different varieties that visit. Great read Mary. x

    1. Oh Jacqui, I'm so thrilled that the blogisphere is bursting with bird lovers! Sounds like you are well aware of what those cheeky seagulls are capable of!

  6. How lovely to see you enjoying the birds, the Pigeons here go through quite a bit, we have modified the bird table so they can't get on it, but I do scat some on the lawn for them xx

    1. Hi Marlene, thanks for popping in. Agreed, those pigeons linger. I think they're the pair who hang out in a neighbour's tall tree, watching us! I'll make sure the smaller birds get a look in, thanks for the heads up.