Feed the birds

Now that Spring is here, birds are busy. They’re building nests, laying eggs and soon they’ll face the constant demands of squawking babies that are constantly demanding food.

I think I understand how they feel…

Last year, we put up a feeder for the first time and I was amazed at how captivated everyone in the household became by our small, feathered visitors. The (at the time) three-year-old was always the first to spot new birds and soon learned their names.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or a balcony, it’s easy enough to put up a feeder. Or you can stick one to your window (this was what we started with).

Not sure what kind of feeder to buy?

Here’s what I’ve learned.

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Coconut shell (photo from RSPB)

These half coconuts are full of fat, nuts and grains. You can hang them on a branch, hook or washing line (just make sure it’s not anywhere the local cats can reach).

If you’d like to turn this into an activity you can find out how to make one with your child here.

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Windows feeder (photo from RSPB)

This kind sticks to your window. You don’t need a garden or a balcony, but you do need to be able to reach it regularly to refill it and wash it. You can put suet balls and sunflower hearts in it (just make sure squirrels can’t reach it).

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Nyjer seed feeder (photo from RSPB)

This kind is especially for goldfinches. Fill with Nyjer seeds to attract these colourful creatures.

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Seed feeder (photo from RSPB)

Fill this one with sunflower seeds which a wide variety of birds like.

And here are some of the beautiful little garden birds you and your toddler might possibly see in Tower Hamlets (especially if you’re near some open green space).

Photos from rspb.org.uk

 

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Spring

No need to wait any longer for Spring to arrive. You can go and find it at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. If you’ve never visited, there’s nowhere quite like it in Bow – it’s a little patch of nurtured wilderness that’s especially lovely at this time of year when there are daffodils and little woodland flowers everywhere.

It’s also a good place to play hide and seek.

And here are two other reasons to visit with young children.

  1. Bow Beasties

The wildlife group meets monthly for different activities. Next up is pond dipping and wild art on Saturday 21st April 2018.

More details here.

2. Spring Festival – Sunday 1st April

There’ll be an adventure trail, woodland walks and the chance to make a Spring crown.

More details here.

 

Proof that robins are bravest

I’ve been reluctant to put up bird feeders in the past because of the presence in our household of an ageing but wiley cat who, after barely moving through winter, comes back to life in Spring at the sound of baby birds tweeting.

But then I saw these feeders that you attach directly to your window, removing any possibility of the cat being able to intercept any feathered visitors on route. With great excitement, my three-year-old and I attached it to the window, filled it with a bird banquet, and waited…

Continue reading “Proof that robins are bravest”

Spring adventures – part 1

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Photo from visitlondon.com

The daffodils are out. Spring is here, and I’ve been making a list of adventures, old and new, to share with my toddler (and baby).

As I mentioned last time, I’ve been thinking it’s time to head beyond the corner of London that’s home to us – and be tourists in our own city. Here’s what I have in mind. Continue reading “Spring adventures – part 1”

Spring manifesto

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From http://www.icteachers.co.uk

Spring is such a tease. For a few glorious hours on Saturday afternoon, she made an all too fleeting appearance. Suddenly the sun was transformed – no longer a pale, distant circle in a frosty sky, but instead a wonderful bright orb sending us rays of light that actually warmed the skin. Little birds flitted in the trees. Cheering birdsong filled the air. And then today it was all gone. The sky was heavy and grey and the warmth was gone.

But the promise of Spring has made me turn my thoughts to all the things I would like to do with my toddler once the Winter is behind us. And so here are the beginnings of a Spring manifesto.

This Spring I would like to introduce my toddler to some of the sights of London, venturing beyond the little corner that we know and love to the global city beyond. My next post will pick out the visits that we plan to make.

The post after will be about making the most of the outdoors – visiting favourite haunts and searching for new ones.

And the ultimate aim? To have fun, of course. Because which self-respecting toddler doesn’t live every moment to the full.

Here’s to Spring.

Looking forward to Spring

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Magnolia in bloom. Photo from Kew

I love Spring and, despite the recent dismal weather, there are signs it’s only just round the corner. The daffodils are out, the magnolia is in bloom, there are crocuses pushing their way through the grass…

… If only it wasn’t so bloomin’ freezin’.

To cheer myself up, I’ve been putting together a list of places to go with my toddler as soon as the glorious Spring of my imagination starts (and is quickly followed by a sweltering Summer).

Continue reading “Looking forward to Spring”