Saturday, 28 January 2012

On Observing A Bird Feeder

Suspended from a birch branch
Eight feet above the ground
This avian snack bar
Provides free entertainment
From the kitchen window;
Topped up with seeds
Purchased by the kilo
From Wilkinson's
This aerial cylinder
Complements the
Rectangular cage
Which dangles nearby
Imprisoning a beige
Slab of suety fat
Larded with insects;
The squirrels quickly
Cracked the seed feeder
Problem but are baffled
By the fat cage
It is tempting
To shoot the grey
Delinquents and restore
The feeders to the birds
But if the squirrel ducked
The pellet would no doubt
Reach the house beyond
And even if the pest
Were hit it might
Limp away to become
A tragic headline in next
Week's local paper;
A wide variety of birds
Arrives to use the feeder;
Finches of which green,
Gold and chaff;
Sparrows and their impostors
The little brown dunnocks
Tits blue, great, long tailed
Once a tiny goldcrest;
Wrens, robins, thrushes
And blackbirds do not
Fly up to take the seeds
But wait underneath for
Other species to
Scatter them from above;
Waddling wood pigeons
and gentle collared doves
Join in the foraging;
Tempting targets for
Sparrowhawks which
Scissor death into the
Peaceful garden scene
In a flash of barred pinions;
If only they would target
The squirrels instead...

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