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The summer room

September 1, 2021

My neighbour Pat complains that he never sees any birds other than his “black chicken”. (The crow that he feeds.) I’m happy to say I don’t have that problem. There are plenty of birds hanging around my house. Partly because my house is surrounded by trees, unlike Pat’s place where the lot was clearcut before the house was built. Largely because I bribe them to hang out here. With food.

It’s a pleasure to do this year round, but never more so than between May and September (good grief, how can it be September now?) when the “summer room” is open and in use. 

I love all the birds, but, as I’ve mentioned before, there is a special place in my heart for the Steller’s Jays

They’re not happy going for the feeder when I’m sitting outside.

One sits on a tree branch eyeing the peanuts.

One lurks on the roof.

But eventually their gluttony gets the better of them.

Then there’s the suet feeder, moved from the generator to keep it away from the rats. 

This attracts countless finches and other small birds, along with the occasional woodpecker. Sorry, didn’t manage a photo of the latter, but everyone who’s seen them at it has laughed. I will have to give some thought to where I can hang this when the umbrella comes down so the birds still have access, but the bloody rats don’t.

I also didn’t manage a photo of a bird at the hummingbird feeder.

They’re quick and nervous little buggers who will only use the feeder when I’m outside if I stay completely still.

It’s a delightful show which makes me feel more than a little bit like Cinderella. Between the three feeders I have an avian world of entertainment. 

No wonder Stella competes with me for the chair. Fortunately she is a bird watcher, rather than a bird killer. Which, after some initial hesitation, the birds have figured out. She’s a mouser, who has also been known to bring in the odd garter snake. 

What’s that you ask? Has the fried (or more accurately baked) butterfly bush recovered? Well, yes, to some extent it has. 

Although it’s still looking pretty sad, there will actually be a couple of treats for the butterflies this year.

If I’m lucky I’ll have another three weeks before I have to close down the summer room. If I’m really lucky I’ll have a month.

Again I ask: How the hell can it be September already?

STOP PRESS: Just walked out the door and spotted Woody Woodpecker at the feeder.

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