Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Home alone, watching tits

I'm very excited to report I have blue tits.

I am home alone today, with a head full of snot and a throat like a badger's armpit, nursing a mug of Lemsip and watching what I think is a male blue tit busily emptying the remains of last year's great tits' nest from the nesting box. I presume the second bird watching from the sidelines is the female.

With his black bandit mask and flat cap he looks like the archetypal burglar. He pauses at the edge of the nest-hole, his head darting suspiciously around to check the coast is clear. Then he's in, out and away with another haul of old moss.

I'm not an avid birdwatcher but when the opportunity arises to observe nature at close quarters, it's too good to miss. That's why I'm now in the habit of keeping my binoculars somewhere handy. I got them primarily for astronomy, and spotting Messier objects with them has been a lot of fun, but they are getting a fair bit of use in the daytime now.

Seriously, if you haven't got some decent binoculars, get some. Unless you have a special need for something extra light or extra powerful then I'd suggest 10x50. (That is, 10x magnification and 50mm objective lens). That should give you a big, bright image with not too much wobble. For me, that bird box appears at arm's length.

There's a lot of great stuff out there to see. Who wouldn't want to see it ten times better?