Friday, January 25, 2013

Birds - The Gardener's Mortal Enemies?

When Mr Shoestring had all that trouble with birds attacking the side mirrors on his car and leaving nasty deposits all over it, I tried to be sympathetic but in reality I was very indulgent to the birds.  After all I thought, they are the friends of the gardener and so enjoyable to watch as they go about their business.  Now I am not so sure.  Having spent all that time and effort on raising my own seedlings, nurturing and watering, transplanting and cosseting through the baby stages of their lives, I was horrified to discover that they had been ripped from the earth by the bird population.  At first I was inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and tried to convince myself that it might have been the work of the cats.  However having made a serious study of the situation (not to mention replanting my precious seedlings several times in the space of an hour), I have to admit that it is the birds who are responsible for the carnage and destruction.  When I planted out the commelina seedlings I was hoping that they would not become an invasive menace as predicted by some garden commentators.  Now I shall just be thankful to see any of them reach maturity and flower so that I can witness the blossoms.  All that talk about birds being helpful in the garden is just a load of old rope and malarkey, they don’t seem to eat any slugs or snails, only the worms I am trying to encourage.  And as for the mess they can make of a flower bed in a short space of time, it has to be seen to be believed.  Earth, compost and seedlings randomly strewn all over the place, far and wide!  The last straw is when they come close by as you are feverishly trying to replant seedlings before it is too late.  They watch you with their horrid beady eyes in a very knowing fashion, as if to say, “Yes that’s right, you replant them – I shall be back again as soon as your back is turned and pull them out of the earth, just you wait.”  The honeymoon is over, drastic measures are called for.  Maybe some kind of frame over the soil, so that they can’t get their nasty pointy beaks close enough to do any damage.

We have a long weekend coming up and my avian adversaries will be surprised to find their peaceful existence disturbed by Mr Shoestring with his concrete mixer and me with my arsenal of bird scaring devices.  Let battle commence!