It seems inconceivable that a bird table could lead to thoughts about asylum seeking, but this seems to be case.
It all started innocently enough, of course. With winter now upon us, I thought it would be a nice idea to buy a bird table, to bring back memories of a childhood where my parents stuck some bacon rind up on a branch, bought me Observerís Book of Birds and left me to it.
Whichever hobby they decided on for me, there was always an Observerís book involved and a hope that I would then get on with it.
Anyway, to local shop for a bird table. Mightily expensive they turned out to be, so rather than a mahogany table, replete with eaves and a foot spa, we returned home with a round mesh with a stick in it and a packet of peanuts. I had attempted to go to counter with bird seed, rather than peanuts. I was calmly informed that seed was smaller than mesh and would merely have left a trail.
Not a problem. Peanuts it was then and by day three, birds arrived. Well, Tit family anyway and thatís more than good enough for me. It really is a delight, and children are as excited as Iíd hoped they would be.
Hang on, one secondÖ (ďNo dear, thatís not a Peregrine, thatís still a Great Tit!Ē)
So, as I say, we have, if nothing else, been inundated with Tit family. We needed to identify different breeds within this family, so a little bit of research has revealed that so far, we have had a Great Tit, a Blue Tit, a Coal Tit and also a Marsh Tit. No Crested Tit, though. These have grey-brown upper parts, whitish under parts and a black and white head with, funnily enough, a crest on it. These, you see, are only found in Caledonian forests of Scotland and I live in middle of Devon.