Most working days I have lunch on my own at home. For entertainment while eating I position myself at the kitchen table so I can see the garden. It gives me a great view of all the visiting birds. Doing this often resulted in discovering patterns. And those patterns differ from those I observed previous winter. Here is a list of patterns and behaviour I witness almost every day. 

One: most birds come and pick their food in a similar rhythm as mine. In the morning when it’s light enough, midday and just before dark. 

Two: this year the biggest group of visitors are finches (last year house sparrows were the majority) and they don’t like each. They fight each other off the seeds constante. 

Three: the house sparrows, blue tits and great tits don’t get the fuss of the finches and calmly pick their seeds from the food silo dangling in the apple tree. 

Four: I have seen one hedge sparrow this season and it visits every day. Together with the robin it picks on the ground, and are always alert for threats. 

Five: the single pigeon that frequented the garden last year is no longer single. I call the pair Dolly and Doris. (Dolly is the name of the pigeon that stars in the famous children’s book Pluk van de Petteflet).

Six: the two turtledoves are chickens. They are the first ones to leave the scene when they think there is a threat. So far there were no real threats I observed.

Seven: the mouse, which I spotted for the first time three weeks ago, has settled under the beams left of the garden stairs. I see it almost daily. In the same rhythm as the birds it picks seeds from under the apple tree to eat and hide in its house. It has been spotted by one of my cats as well, so I fear for its life in the long run. 

Eight: Starlings, despite the wonderful shades of blue, green and grey of their feathers, love to make a shitty mess. I’m glad there are only two of them this season. The bird’s peanut butter is what they visit for.