A Letter to Bill Bailey……


……only I don’t suppose I’ll actually send it

Dear Bill Bailey-

Now that you’ve followed Bill Oddie, and become known as a twitcher as well as a comedian, can you to be an Agony Uncle too? On the subject of birds?

Here in our back yard in Laroque, we’re doing our best to keep our local birds happy. The usual suspects visit us:  sparrows, blackbirds, various tits, robins, wagtails, redstarts: once, but only once, on 14th February last year, a whole flock of goldfinches descended and ate all we could offer.

We offer a great menu.  There are suet blocks, fat balls and feeders crammed variously with peanuts and all kinds of seeds.  I even bought – at great expense – dried mealworms endorsed by Bill Oddie. Last year, all our birds fluttered, perched, fought, queued, squabbled, scoffing everything (apart from the suet blocks) that we put out.  This year, they’re ignoring the whole lot, apart from the stale crumbs I chuck out after every meal.  Which seems a bit like choosing a bag of crisps instead of a decent meal.

What’s up?  There isn’t a cat within range, and the dog next door probably wouldn’t manage to catch a slug on the loose. Last year, disgusted that our birds ignored the suet blocks, I gave them all to a friend who lives out in the wilds of the Seronnais.  She reported that HER birds were fighting over these goodies within hours.

So perhaps I should give all the bird food to her.  But I don’t want to.  They’ll give in eventually.  Won’t they?  Any ideas?



Lexique pour mes lecteurs français:

Bill Bailey : Stand up comique anglais

Bill Oddie: comédien et ornithologue anglais

Twitcher : observateur d’oiseaux amateur

Agony Uncle : journaliste responsable du courrier du coeur

3 thoughts on “A Letter to Bill Bailey……

  1. Hi Margaret, Sorry to hear the birds are giving your feed station a miss,you seem to have the right goodies for a bird feast. The only salution I can come up with is there must be many more feed stations in your vicinity. Please,please don’t give up on them, I’m sure you will be rewarded in the end. All our love Tom xx


    1. Thanks for that, Tommy. But they’re still not here. We think they’re all up in a small village near here called Mireval. We have friends there who have cornered the market in feeding the birds. They’ve made a shelter almost like a Christmas crib, and every tit of every kind, every finch, every robin is there, nipping in and out to get yet another nut or seed. Dozens of birds, every moment of daylight. Our friend also gets great slabs of suet-y fat from the butcher, and the birds reduce this to delicate sheets of lacey stuff. It’s a wonderful sight to see, and if I lived up there, I’d never get anything done for watching them


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