It's autumn again, the wind is blowing the rain across the garden, and in the moments when I'm trying not to write, promo or otherwise earn a living, I can stare out of the window at the bird table. We've had two families of sparrows nesting in the hedge this year (about 500 of them, by the noise in the mornings in spring, but actually rather fewer), plus a blackbird clever enough to pinch the morello cherries and leave the stones attached to the twig. We have other regular visitors: hyperactive bluetits, a determined wren and a thrush of some sort.
I don't know how they find out (through Twitter?), but as soon as the nyjer seed goes into the feeder a goldfinch appears out of nowhere, followed by another, and they assault the stuff in pairs. A single fieldmouse also seems to live under the hedge and nip out to scoff any seed falling from the bird table.
A pair of delicately bewildered collared doves turns up sometimes, and a small gang of jackdaws, but the most regular patrons of the birdseed restaurant are two wood pigeons. One is sleek and obviously well fed, while the other is a bit scrawny and looks a bit downtrodden. We call them Scruffbag and Fatface, and while the sparrow contingent are out in the fields these two put away at least half the birdseed and bits of bread between them. One day Fatface will probably turn up with a doggy bag.
(Pictures from Wikimedia Commons.