Self-Isolating Bird Club!

Social distancing is critical to the COVID-19 response, so I hope you are staying safe at home and finding new ways to entertain yourself and your family.

It's week 3 of home-working for me, and I'm not sure about you, but I'm starting to feel the cabin fever coming on. I miss the freedom of jumping in the car and driving down to the coast or to the local nature reserve with my camera. Spring is the most fascinating time of year for bird watching, as birds start to prepare nests for breeding season. I'm an outdoor-loving person, so I do find it particularly difficult to stay within these 4 walls.

However, it's not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of chances to enjoy and observe wildlife at home, in the garden, or during your daily walk.

Chris Packham's 'The Self-Isolating Bird Club' is a fantastic initiative where members from across the world can share pictures and videos of birds. It allows fellow nature lovers to share experiences and tips with one another. If you don't have a garden at home, you can get your daily dose of birds here! I shared this photo of a starling in my back garden.

To keep myself entertained, I do an hours #BreakfastBirdWatch each morning, where I take a note of the birds I see and try to take at least one photo, which I share on instagram @_rluskphotography_

It's always nice to see the regulars at the feeders: bluetits, coal tits, great tits, robins, house sparrows, magpies, woodpigeons, collared doves, starlings, long-tailed tits and dunnocks.

Whilst self-isolating, I have used the opportunity to spend more time out in my garden preparing a vegetable patch, tidying the hedges, turning the soil etc. I like to find ways to encourage more wildlife into my garden such as cutting a hole in the fence for hedgehogs to come through, planting shrubs which have berries, keeping the bird bath fresh, and ensuring that there is plenty of feed for the birds. I have also built a basic robin nest box (rustic but sturdy!).

I recently ordered a new nest box with camera for live streaming and I'll follow up with another post on that!

Despite all of the restrictions currently in place, I hope that you find ways to enjoy the local wildlife. To finish on a happy note I'll leave you with this short video of a long-tailed tit (aka fluff ball).

#selfisolatingbirdclub #birdphotography

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