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Bird Watching & Feeding in the Sixties & Seventies

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Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 398
Location: Staffordshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:01 am    Post subject: Bird Watching & Feeding in the Sixties & Seventies Reply with quote

When I started feeding the birds in the late sixties & early seventies I would have been about 10 yrs old there wasn't all the fancy foods you have today. You were asked to feed the birds by the RSPB through the winter, with food scrapes like raw bacon rind, stale cake, bread, apple, un-salted nuts, pastry cooked or raw & half a coconut on a string hung on the fence. I used to go to the pet shop & get Spratt's, Magnet & Trill caged bird food to put on the bird table, there wasn't many takers, a few House Sparrows etc we did not have hanging feeders like there are today, it was a 3'' x 3'' post with a board screwed on top & four pieces of 1'' x 1'' nailed around the board to stop the food falling off. My mate David who lived two doors up from us, his Mum was a member of the RSPB & his Dad was a School woodwork teacher, there bird table was amazing with its cedar shingled roof , his Mum had numerous bird books which no one was allowed to touch & David had a pocket bird guide book called the Observer's Book Of Birds, I could not afford this book at the time & used to borrow it from the local library, I saved my money & did purchase a copy from the book shop in town & that's how it all started. My Granddad gave me a pair of second hand binoculars he'd had from a junk shop, they were ok but very heavy, I had an old haversack that my dad used to take to work in it would go some cheese sandwiches, bottle of pop, note book, pencil & my Observer's Book Of Birds & we were off, me & David would go down to the railway lines & jump on the back of the flat bed coaches the train was pulling which was still steam engines then. There would be so many coal carriages & then the flat bed carriages with lengths of steel on them, the train was very slow & was easy to get on & off, we would get off about two miles further on where there was reed beds just over the fence from the railway track. There were Reed Buntings, Reed Warblers & Herons, there may have been Sedge Warblers & others but had not learned to recognize them yet. On the way back nine times out of ten we would have to walk the line which was lined with mainly Hawthorn bushes which had Blue Tits, Great Tits & Bullfinches etc & where the railway line run along side the canals overflow there were Wrens, Pied & Grey Wagtails. I hope you enjoyed read this & it's stirred up some of your own memories of your early years bird watching & feeding.
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