One of the less well known attractions of Bosherston lily ponds is that at several locations the birds have now become tame enough to be fed from the hand. We took a bag of mixed seed with us and within a few minutes of standing with a tempting arm outstretched we were surrounded by birds. The boldest by far were the Great Tits, who were the first on the scene and would often sit for a good few seconds on the hand whilst they chose which seed to take.
Next up were the Blue Tits. They tended to hold back until at least three had gathered on nearby branches, at which point they made a quick smash and grab sortie one after the other.
My favourites though were the Robins that had developed a completely different technique altogether. Instead of flying directly to the hand they would sit in a bush and sing to attract our attention. This inevitably led us to move our hands closer, at which point they would simply step off their perch and onto the hand or alternatively reach over and pick up a seed. Utterly charming. In complete contrast the Chaffinches couldn’t quite get up the courage to make the leap into the human world, instead spending their time fluttering around in a state of constant indecision. They would probably have been better off following the lead of the Dunnocks and at one point even a Nuthatch who were hopping around our feet eating any dropped food.
If you ever the get the chance to visit Bosherston then don’t forget to take a bit of seed with you. To feel how light these small birds really are and the strength in their tiny feet is a unique opportunity not to be missed.