Since I didn't think I could persuade the birds to sunggle down out of the wind inside a fleece-lined box or anything like that, I reckoned that I could at least assist by providing some food and drink. I put out lots of bread, but I augmented this with a big dish of seeds for the ground-feeding birds to enjoy, as well as a handful on the hanging bird-table for the Tits and Finches that prefer to eat at a safe height above any marauding felines.
This seed mix has a lot of sunflower kernels in it, and those are by far the most popular with the birds that visit my garden. I love to watch the Tits feeding. They swoop down, grab a sunflower kernel and take it up into one of the branches of the "Fish tree", where they hold it firmly with their claws whilst devouring it with their beaks. Then rapidly back for another seed... They must eat dozens a day each. The only birds that actually eat sitting on the feeder seem to be the Goldfinches. The others prefer Take-Away.
|Bluetit grabbing a seed|
It's easy to forget that birds also drink as well as eat, and when the temperature is low it is often difficult for them to find water. My birdbath / drinking-water receptacle was frozen solid today:
I took out a kettle full of boiling water and melted the ice. The trouble is, I'll probably need to do this every few hours, because the water will soon freeze again.
I was I glad I only needed to be outside for a short while. I retreated indoors and made some Butternut Squash soup:
This soup is an old favourite. Very tasty and very quick and simple to make. Cook the Butternut in some light stock with some lightly fried onion and a bit of seasoning (I used a small quantity of Mixed Spice and two small chillis, along with salt and black pepper). After about half an hour, when the squash is really soft, allow it to cool a bit and then zuzz it up in a liquidiser. That's it.
I served mine with garnish of parsley and a little drizzle of our home-made chilli oil.