Nesting Boxes in my Mother’s garden

Been a while but not to worry 🙂 . Whether my seasonal Calendar agrees with me or not, this weekend feels like the first days of Spring, a low warming Sun has lifted air temperatures and I even walked the dog without wearing a coat for the first time this year………………… as an aside 20 million Brits have now been vaccinated (including moi), Covid-19 cases appear to be dropping, or maybe it’s the lovely weather but life seems ok at present…… finger’s crossed!

Oh yes returning to my theme of today’s Posting, my mother now has 4 bird Nesting Boxes in her garden and attached to side walls. I know because I constructed them from oddments of timber and erected in various positions earlier this year and joy of joys for my mother, because she loves her garden flighted visitors, Blue Tits have begun visiting one Nesting Box with hopefully a view to laying eggs and raising a family.

But first and pictured below are 3 species of birds regularly visiting British suburban gardens, or I should say 3 species that regularly take residence, the Blue Tit, Robin and Pied Wagtail.

Blue Tit (Stock image)
Pied Wagtail (Stock image)
Robin (Stock image)

I’m no ornithological expert but if you place these timber constructions around you garden either side of Christmas then with a little luck mother nature hopefully will provide, and as you’d imagine my mother gains great pleasure from watching and feeding her feathered friends……….. I may even buy her a pair of cheapish binoculars from Amazon, yes that seems a good idea. Anyways before I meander off topic below you’ll see photos captured this fine Sunday morning. Incidentally I don’t wish to get tooo technical but Nesting Boxes are very species specific, a Blue Tit prefers stand alone Boxes with a 25mm entrance hole (32mm for Sparrows), but not Robins or Wagtails who will only use the open front design……………….. and if you have densely foliaged bushes then just may have Blackbirds build a nest therein!

Oh and I’ve included a photo of mum’s garden feeder (resembles a Hat Stand), great for hanging bags of nut and attracting hungry birds who just might be house hunting?

Pictured above is my pride and joy, I constructed this timber design specifically favoured by Robins, a beautiful red breasted garden bird that can be so tame that they’ll feed from a person’s hand…………………… or so the wildlife books tell us………………oh and notice the position, whereas Blue Tits prefer open space boxes attached to poles, Robins prefer nesting within deep foliage. Apparently!

Picture above I placed an open fronted Nesting Box favoured by Robins or who knows the pair of Pied Wagtails that visit and feed, wildlife are fickle animals, you never know we might be lucky although March is leaving it late.

Pictured above and attached to a side wall is a second nesting box specifically for Blue Tits, might be lucky you never know.

HOWEVER every story has villain of the piece, over the past decade or so and as more open farmland’s been turned over by housebuilder’s excavating equipment, another bird species attracted by warm blooded protein has colonised suburbia as it’s own, and the results are savage and definitely not pretty. Below you see an all to common sight in British Towns the evil eyed Sparrowhawk, a small bird of prey that yes feeds on Robins, Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Wagtails……………… you could say Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection and yes a beautiful if brutal feeder. That being said I have seen one particular Sparrowhawk perched on a fence dividing gardens, a savage feeder yet striking bird of prey, you either embrace and appreciate its beauty or anger yourself over ‘what may have been’s’?

A. Shepherdson 2021

Intolerant Veganism!

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Just last week five British Supreme court judges ruled veganism can now be classified as a religion, yep no different to Islam Christianity and any other faith humans wish to follow. You’ll have to Google (if you really can be bothered) to read the case details and ramifications, because mark my words vegans can be an intolerant bunch, many with a political sinister agenda for sweeping change, if you eat meat then be prepared for persecution because they’re after us carnivores, and if you don’t agree with these fanatical uncompromising zealots then be prepared to change your eating habits……….. Oxford’s already experienced demonstrations demanding supermarkets stop selling dairy cows milk and more will follow.

That’s enough talk of religion.

This evening’s news was dominated by the horrific fires sweeping across Australia, heart wrenching scenes and a manmade global warming disaster that’s killed human life, consumed millions of acres of forest, reduced thousands of homes to ash and most upsetting of all animals, birds, reptiles and insects have perished, one billion to be exact including 30% of all koala bear population. I had to shut down my computer because the devastation, photos and wildlife deaths reduced me to tears, first the Amazon rainforest burned now all Australia and the magnitude was emotionally all too much.

One billion lost for Christ’s sake.

(I like vegans… really I do!)

So where does veganism fit into this tragic tale? Each and every morning on the way to work I call in at my local supermarket and buy a sealed plastic tray of blueberries, and everyday I feel awful because reading their country of origin near stings my eyes.

That country changes sometimes several times a week, they can be sourced from Chile, Peru, South Africa, Morocco and so many more, I glance up and down the fruit isle and there are punnets of strawberries from Holland, grapes from Algeria, there’s African dates, Turkish soft apricots and almonds from California………. ALL plant based produce requiring vast acres of forest land and gallons of fresh drinking water by the millions.

So I ask you at what point does farming plant based food (a fact forgotten by those ‘holier than thou’ self satisfied vegans) be classed as the devastation and destruction of wild natural habitats?

You want aovocado on toast for breakfast? Then understand they’re flown in by jet aircraft and farmed by Panamanian mafia gangs.

And don’t get me started on the tonnes of aviation fuel required to transport this tasty fresh produce across the globe? Airplane jet engines belching out tonnes of CO2 gases into the atmosphere, not forgetting the litres of water required to grow let’s say, a single raspberry bush………. and please don’t question my fruit growing horticultural knowledge because I grow my own raspberries!

Rasp 2018 005
One of my raspberry bushes

So my message to vegans and their new religion is before you lambast us meat eating Nazis, remember veganism has a far greater environmental cost to this once beautiful natural world!

Rant over and I’m as guilty as the next man.

Pray for Australian wildlife if you believe in God, and let’s ALL change our buying habits shall we? I guess that means no more blueberries for breakfast 😞 .

A. Shepherdson 2020