Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I am very glad that our kitchen window looks out on to the back garden. There are no other houses, just the whirly gig washing line and a bright orange fence. Beyond that there is a row of trees, and beyond that there is the playing field. You can’t see the playing field for the orange fence and the row of trees!

Had the bird feeder hanging from the whirly gig been in the front garden, it might be a very different story!

A month ago, or more, I bought a book from the book company that, every so often, visits the place where I work. It was a bird watching handbook. It is a beginner’s guide, designed for a child, with a page for each bird. There is a picture of each bird with a short description of what it looks like and what is sounds like. There is a space to stick a photo and a few lines to write where you saw said bird, what time of day it was, what said bird was doing and something about the weather conditions.

Quite why I bought the book, I don’t know. It was dirt cheap! I have always envied people who knew that names of birds. You would think that having been brought up in a country village I would be less ignorant of those kinds of things. I know what magpies look like, but that is about my limit.

The book recommended a bird table. I thought that a bird feeder on the whirly gig might do instead – it’s not so expensive for one thing. It is only in the last few days that the birds have discovered that it’s there!

I have found that my attention is consumed with watching the birds on the feeder through the binoculars. The book isn’t the most comprehensive of books and I’m not sure that the birds I am watching actually get a mention. The closest I have got to matching up the picture in the book with the bird hanging pecking away at the peanuts is a coal tit. There are lots of little brown birds too – thrushes maybe?

The only time that I have paid any attention to birds was a long time ago. The night before I had watched, was it Alfred Hitchcock’s film, “The Birds”? There is a scene in the film where, just outside the school, there is a climbing frame, and it is all covered with birds which attack the children as they come out from school. I kid you not, the next morning the climbing frame in the playing field that our back garden looked out onto was covered with birds – just like the scene in the film. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up!

So, yes, I’m twitching!

Looking at the antics of these tiny little birds I am reminded about Jesus teaching – “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

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