A little bird told me...

It's been a pretty trying time for garden birds lately, what with most of the juicy hedgerow berries long gone and the luscious worms buried deep below layers of earth and snow, so I've taken to putting out some bird seed for them.

I don't believe in feeding them year round as I think this is more for our pleasure (and granted seeing them at the bird table is a lovely sight) than for their benefit, as it tends to make them reliant on human-provided food rather than foraging for their own.

I'd hate to interfere with birds teaching their young to find food in the natural world by providing a bird equivalent of a drive-in fast food joint, so I resist the temptation and only put out seed during the bleakest winter months.

And this year our birds are in for a real treat as they've got a new ceramic bird feeder from Earthy Pleasures, run by Diane Nicholson, a local potter who is a regular visitor to the garden and also helped our village potter Marv build the wood-fired oven.

It's always interesting to see how traditional skills filter down from teacher to pupil, instilling a part of them in the techniques they pass on. Diane has her own unique style which I love, but I also see a touch of Marv in there too and that's the beauty of handmade stuff. Long may it continue - remember to support your local craftspeople!

I saw a robin balancing on the feeder within the first half hour of me putting it out, so it's obviously already a hit with the locals.
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