I think I neglected by blog

I think I neglected by blog

Yes, I have neglected my blog recently, as so often happens, because I’m both lazy and overworked — not a happy combination.

One thing I’d like to report is that, in a continuation of the flurry of celebrity sightings over the past few months, I have recently been served lunch by Amy Winehouse, and also shared a bus with (hold on to your hats, this is a good one) Abraham Lincoln. Abe has clearly seen better days — he’s looking rather grey and a bit frail, and reduced to using public transport — but at least Amy seemed to be doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Also, and I think this may be the reason behind this website’s sudden leap in viewing figures, I won that competition I entered a while back, the one I made the video about Closed Captions for. My prize is to have my video embedded in the YouTube Help Center. See the YouTube blog entry announcing the results to see the winners in the other categories.

Oh, and something else for this rambling, unfocussed, random bog entry (I should write more of these — it takes less brain power): we have tits in our garden.

Um. By “tits”, I mean the birds of the Paridae family. They arrived, uncannily, almost as soon as our sunflowers ripened: great flocks of great tits, but also something that could be a sombre tit or a marsh tit, but, knowing my legendary prowess at identifying birds, is probably something not remotely connected with tits. (And now I’m interested to see what AdSense is going to make of this post.)

We have also seen a nuthatch hanging around, multitudes of sparrows and a rather shy European robin.

Anyway. My wife, being a gardener and knowing that encouraging lots of great tits to stay in our garden will have a benefit in the summer months in respect of reduced insect and grub populations, bought two bird feeders. They’re cleverly designed: the food goes into a sort of perspex box with openings below, allowing a slow but constant flow of food for the hungry birds. They were an instant hit, and taught us a great deal about the feeding habits of garden birds.

For instance, we discovered that it takes some birds longer than others to get the hang of perspex. The particularly stupid ones spend a few minutes pecking away at the perspex before it occurs to them to look down. One especially brainless specimen, after a long fight with invisible barriers, flew off, triumphantly holding its prize in its beak, and smacked into our window.

We also found out that great tits love sunflower seeds and abhor almost anything else. We learned also that the manufacturers of birdseed especially formulated for tits didn’t know this. The bright birds quickly understood how the feeders worked, and if no sunflower seeds were immediately available, would check to see if the feeder did contain any sunflower seeds at all; and if it did, the bird would proceed to throw wheat, oats and other rubbish all over the garden, periodically checking on its progress, until a sunflower seed tumbled out. If you haven’t seen a great tit flinging grain over its shoulder in a frenzy, you haven’t lived.

Of course, if you then do nothing about the wheat, you will soon find that having grub-eating birds comes at the price of being overrun by rodents, which explains why we are now filling our bird feeders exclusively with sunflower seeds. I suppose they’re the methadone of the seed-eating bird world.