Our little village school of 11 children took part in the RSPB's Big Schools Birdwatch last Friday.For the last couple of weeks, they have taken turns to come out with me and help fill the feeders and have a little chat about what birds we might see, how they live and then we would stand for about 10 minutes still as statues waiting to see what would fly down on to our freshly filled feeders. The excitement of a robin arriving to inspect the table and to chase off the chaffinches just filled them with such delight it was a pleasure to see. They were so excited at our chaffinches (of which we have thousands on this island) that it made me realise perhaps we take some of our common birds for granted. It was like seeing them with new eyes. They would rush back into school and tell the Head what they had seen. On Monday we were lucky to have a visit from Dave Sexton, the RSPB Officer for Mull (and local filmstar from Springwatch and Autumnwatch) - he showed them how to make fat ball feeders with yoghurt pots and a bit of string - they were in their element (and so was I). We then had a competition to see what type of bird would land first on their fatball feeder - so at break time today the fat balls were hung and instead of running round playing football etc they all huddled on their bench, telling each other to "shush", "keep still" while we waited for the birds to arrive. We didnt have to wait long - "it had a yellow belly with a big black line down it" - even I knew that one without referring to my Collins Guide - break continued with them sitting as quiet as children can - I'm amazed how they have all embraced this project - they all want to be my monitors everyday that I wish I could take them all out - some have said they have put up feeders at home and can name some of the birds - what a fantastic start and long may it continue.
A true cockney sparrow born within the sound of Bow Bells - spent the first 20 years in London and then moved around the country with work. Came on holiday to Mull and fell under its spell. Really feel I have come home - just love it!