In a world where people watching has come to a halt due to the continuation of lockdown, unconsciously I have transferred my sharp observational skills over to our feathered friends and am now possibly verging on twitching – but why is it so very enjoyable and so relaxing?

Why do we watch birds? Well feather down and I will share all, let’s take a sneaky beak into the reasons which make it take flight!

Believe it or not bird watching has something to offer everyone!  It is a fascinating pastime and a hobby ever growing when people discover the joy it brings.

For me it has been a totally free option, no book, no pen, no binoculars, just me outside in the garden, at one with nature, watching with a healthy level of curiosity, my eyes peeled and ears ready and just blending in and as birds are constantly active, vocal and naturally draw our attention its not long before play commences.

The most excellent thing about this new diversion is that it is portable, no matter where you go there will always be birds to watch.  So once lock down is a thing of the past then no matter where you venture this is a pursuit that can be pursued anytime, any day, anywhere!

There is really no starting out as like me you have probably been laying the foundations for this hobby for many years by putting out food for the birds, placing a bird bath in the garden, without really thinking observing their habits and without taking too much notice identifying those who are regular visitors and those who appear to belong in the more unusual species that just turn up occasionally.

What made me start was three things; the first was I noticed that a bird box I bought which had been abandoned over the colder months had fallen into the nook of a tree and now had a lodger to whom I was intrigued to see and get to know more about.  The second was being in lockdown often looking for things to do to overcome any boredom or dark thoughts and the third was just wanting to escape being inside and enjoy the outdoors via my garden.

Research has shown that spending time outdoors connecting with nature has a wide range of physical and mental health benefits so why not make bird watching one of them replacing the normal hustle and bustle of life with being silent and just watching and enjoying all our feathered friends have to offer.

For me, this will never become an obsession or interest which involves spending loads of cash on the latest hi tech observation tools or travelling to the darkest Peru to see the rarest of birds, dropping everything unexpectedly and become a hardcore twitcher.  At most I may get a pair of binoculars or if memory serves right, this is an item we already possess and is something hidden away in a box in the loft or garage; another lockdown job!

By watching birds, you realise there is always something new to learn and you never fail to be surprised from witnessing new or unusual behaviours by the variation of birds that visit the garden.

To date the birds, I have seen are starlings, magpies, wood pigeon, robins, gold finch, blue tits, blackbirds, chaffinch, sparrows, jays.



Fat – Lard or suet is a good fat base to use.  One part fat, to two parts dried ingredients for a good setting consistency. Wild Bird Seed, Dried Fruit & Nuts.


It's simple, just melt the fat in a pan over a low heat, or in a microwave, and add all the dried ingredients.  Place mixture into moulds to cool and harden by putting them in a fridge overnight so they will be ready to put in the garden the next day.


Suggested Moulds for Homemade Fat Balls

Coconut Shells – Drill a hole through the top. Just add your mixture and let it set in the fridge, then just tie it up on a tree branch. The benefit of using coconut shells for homemade fat balls is that they are sturdy and strong, they can be reused and they look attractive.

Yoghurt Pots – clean the pots, then make a small hole in the bottom. Get some garden string and thread it through the hole. Hold the other end of the string as you pour in the mixture, so that the string runs through the centre of your fat ball. When it has cooled and hardened, remove the yoghurt pot and you should have a homemade fat ball ready to hang.