As 2018 beckons, thoughts turn to resolutions and in this mad, busy, increasingly stressful world, they are often based around well-being. So I thought I’d share my top tip for contentedness, which is especially pertinent this season.
Just before I settled down to write this, I went into my snowy garden and topped up the bird feeder, sprinkled some of the seeds on the grass below and popped a coconut shell filled with suet on the ground. Over the last hour, I’ve seen sparrows, a robin, a blackbird, a wren, a dunnock, a blue tit, a magnificent mistle thrush and a pheasant. The latter likes to keep warm in my compost heap.
Feeding the birds regularly has brought me a huge amount of joy over the last couple of years and it’s brilliant for de-stressing. I watch them from the window and this requires you to be both still and calm, which is a feat for someone like me who is hyperactive. Spotting different species is a thrill and identifying them is fun. Being a hoarder, I still have my 43-year-old Observer Book of Birds.
It pays to buy good quality food from specialist suppliers, such as the RSPB, though you can also find it at budget stores if you know what you are looking for. Bird feeders are inexpensive. For more details on the sort of food and feeders you need – read this informative article by the RSPB https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/feeding-birds
Having found the joy of feeding birds, I plan to spend the first few days of 2018 playing with my new binoculars – a birthday present from my partner. I’m not sure I’ll ever have the ability to sit for hours in a bird hide but my “bins” will allow me a close-up view of visitors to my garden. I also plan to take them with me on my walks in gorgeous Yorkshire.