17/04/2010

Seduced by peachy breast feathers

I’m a ‘Fierce Invalid Home from Hot Climates‘. Coming back to Scotland after twenty years I’m experiencing various culture shocks, thrills and a weird sense of re-booting my system by coming home to a place I’ve only previously lived in as a child.

One fundamental and enduring thrill is appreciating British garden birds. Every day my world is better because of our darling garden birds. I love supplying nesting materials (wool) and boxes, feeding and watching our garden birds.

I have been diligent about daily feeding ‘our’ feathered flocks over the past 2 years. And we’re members of the RSPB which has wonderful magazines for children and grown-ups for a tiny family membership fee. (Join the RSPB now.)

Robins, wrens, blackbirds, crows, chaffinches, wood pigeons, song thrushes, blue tits, great tits, dinnocks, damn feral pigeons … once we even had a Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

It’s a delightful birding paradise in our back yard. I love all these beautiful birds. Yes, the robins are clever and come real close to me now which is heart-warming. And the great tits are precious and strikingly-marked. I’m naturally a very egalitarian person, not given to favoritism. Or so I thought until recently.

Oh foolish pride!

Several weeks ago my mouth hung open and I felt like calling some birding hotline at the stunning sight of a male bullfinch enjoying bird seeds and nuts from my home-made, and as such weirdly-designed, bird table. He had the most outrageously gorgeous rose pinky peachy breast feathers and stark black cap.

I felt so honored.

Honored?! Who knew I was so shallow? I am mortified to have been so easily seduced by bullfinches, both male and female, just because they look really pretty! I kind of like them better than the others, I watch for them especially each day – because they are so beautiful. Their beauty enriches my day. Argh. I hang my head in shame over such favoritism based on looks alone.

Do I do this with other things and just don’t know it? Am I so easily beguiled by prettiness? I think I will research bullfinches so that at least from here on in I can demonstrate some kind of knowledge rather than mumble about my little love birds’ fine feathers.

What birds do you have at your place? Have you noticed them? Do you watch them?

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