Low Flying Birds

One of the casualties of the Great Washing Line Disaster of 2017 was the bird feeder.

It had lived, happily, on the washing line for several months – during winter when the line is used for little else than gathering droplets of water that will drop on you if you pass anywhere near them, the washing line becomes a great place to hang things for birds to dine on.

And when the washing line came crashing down, like a rope bridge crossing a chasm in a movie, the feeder smashed into the, luckily incredibly water-logged, ground. It was rescued by the workman, and positioned on the patio at the base of the bird table. A sorry sight for all.

And it got even sorrier today, as I watched a sparrow hop up onto it and peck at the remaining seeds.  A mere couple of inches off the ground, it made me realise that the time had come to find a new home for the feeder. The washing line won’t be back for some time, I guess, judging by the fact that portacabins have now moved onto the green, presumably to provide temporary shelter for the people doing the insulating.

And so that is how I came to find myself at the bottom of the garden, on a sunny but deceptively cold afternoon, swearing at trees.

The best place for the bird feeders is in the trees that spring up, weed-like, from the waste ground at the bottom of the garden. The no man’s land between our fence and the back of the house behind us’ garage. A graveyard of buckets and flower pots. And that grey cat, that one time, that was dead and stinky.

These trees are, on the whole, annoying. They block out light, they overhang the gardens, they create crevices that wasps can live in. But they are superb for hanging things in.

Although, it turns out, not at the moment.

Every single branch I plumped for was bendy as hell. It was like playing a game of kerplunk where the marbles were the bird feeder. Even when I did managed to get it to stay, I had to simulate the action of a bird or two to work out if it would actually remain in the tree or, when the feathered feeders landed, would slide down the branch and crash to the ground below. Possibly taking a helpless trapped bird with it.

Which is why the feeder is currently hanging at a height that makes you wonder why I didn’t just leave it at the base of the bird table.

It’s pathetic.

But so far it hasn’t falled out of the tree.

Although it’s so close to the ground I’m not sure I’d notice if it did.