Each year in the UK, at the end of January, people are encouraged to record the maximum number of each breed of bird they see in their garden in a 1-hour period. It’s called the Big Garden Birdwatch, and the results are collated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. We have just submitted our results, but I wondered if there was more going on?
The oak tree next door has shed all its leaves,
So those two crows are easy to see.
Perched high in its branches, they’re watching our garden
In case scraps get thrown out for their tea.
We scatter some fat, cut up small, on the grass;
And the crows fly down like a shot.
They obviously think we have done it for them,
And almost devour the lot.
But a flutter of wings stops them dead in their tracks:
Two magpies appear on the scene,
So the crows make it clear who’s the boss around here
And aggressively intervene.
Next, two great tits and a robin arrive
But keep well clear of the big guys:
They go for the bird-table items instead –
A strategy considered as wise.
Can the birds who’ve been watching our garden know
That we have been watching them.
I wonder if they have been counting us, too,
And putting us into a poem?