Mental Health Awareness Week: Bird Watching

Life has been hard in the pandemic. Everything became harder. Anxiety made everyday tasks such as getting the bus to work, meeting friends or going to shops, that much harder to do. Depression didn’t help. It’s hard to find pleasure in life when so many of the things you find pleasure in have stopped.

So I bought a bird feeder. It was meant to be a birthday gift but it’s become a daily obsession for the whole household. Like all obsessions it’s grown. We now have 3 seed bird feeders, one of which has a landing platform shaped like a flower and a solar light above, a coconut bird feeder and one containing suet. We’ve brought a special pole decorated with iron leaves as well as extra lights to hang from it.

Covid updates have been replaced in our household by the far more popular garden updates. We talk about the agility of the squirrel that wraps it’s tail around the pole and stretches towards the feeder. We talk about the magpie that finally made it’s way into the suet feeder. We talk about the robins that perch on the bird feeders and eat and eat only to be chased off by the nervous blue tits who flitter back and forth between the feeder and a nearby tree. Even the wood pigeons have found a place in the narrative as they scrounge around for food underneath the feeders.

Discovering the joys of bird watching has made the endless walks around parks a far more interesting prospect. It’s duckling season right now. Despite their tiny size they speed along rivers like they’re motorized. And then there’s the herons who have mastered the art of stillness in a way that many of us humans can only aspire to.

So why not take a moment out to watch some of your favourite birds and connect with nature.

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