BARRY KIRK’S ESSEX INSIGHT
I always listen to what I am told, but next time the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) makes a suggestion, I am flying west. ‘Buy some bird seed and a dispenser’ they said and stick it in a place where the little darlings can hop on the shelf. Oh yes. Maybe they have not heard of Essex birds.
The first purchase was a cute little dispenser with three little holes and a convenient step to stand on, hung from the corner of my garden shed. Pigeons were the first visitors, although unable to work out the weight ratio balance required to land on a small plastic tube. The sight of the feathery equivalent to a B52 sitting stunned under a pile of ‘happy dickybird’ seed and a small plastic tube trying to look as if it meant to do that, will live in my memory.
In the meantime the smaller ingrates at last cottoned on that this was free grub, but it all went downhill from there.
It was like something out of Hitchcock’s The Birds. First the increasing furry visitors required a larger tube — and more bird seed. Not content with a delicate plucking of a morsel from the tube, this lot think they were in a well known fast food chain and tried to shovel it all in their beaks in one swoop.
Learning quick the podgy pigeons sat patiently under the tube as the pneumatic beaks of their smaller cousins only managed to grab one seed in 10 with the unsuccessful falling on the gallery below.
From refilling the tube once a week, it now requires filling every day. The other side effect is a strange growth of multi variety grass, wheat, rape, corn stalks and the odd buttercup and daisy, all elbowing each other out of the way in a small patch of ground that is unique.
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