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Does your garden room make you 'twitchy'?

Wildlife and nature has long been a fascination for the British and the love of the natural world really shows no sign of abating. With such a 'green and pleasant land' on our doorsteps, it's no surprise that our favourite pastimes and pursuits involve the great outdoors and we continue to love all manner of creatures that we see whenever we're out and about.

There's a rich spread of wildlife that's available not only to those of an adventurous nature, but to every householder in Britain. Dependent upon where you live, you could see everything from the traditional Red Squirrel, down the country to the more common Vole and even the Mink in certain parts of the Midlands!

One of the easiest (and most satisfying) types of wildlife to see is the vast array of birds that come to visit our gardens. There are robins, wrens, wood-pigeons and pied wagtails, and your garden can be a sanctuary for a huge number of bird species. Using your garden space as a hide can be exceptionally rewarding!

As your garden room is on the same level as the rest of the garden, you inevitably feel more connected with and part of the garden itself, lending itself to a spot of bird-watching. It's also disconnected from the main body of the house, leaving you able to concentrate on what you're seeing and even photographing the wildlife without the distractions of televisions, cooking meals, children's stereos and the usual bustling of family life.

Common birds to our gardens include the blackbird, which for males are black with an orange beak, but the females are often brown and speckled! There's also the blue tit, and great tit, which commonly have a yellow breast but can be told apart as the great tit is much larger and has a green head as opposed to a blue one. There are a number of finches, such as the greenfinch and goldfinch, which have very short beaks and are green and brown and gold, respectively.

You may also see the dunnock, which is a small brown and grey bird which may be caught shuffling around flower beds and bushes, as well as a variety of doves and pigeons, such as the woodpigeon, rock dove and collared dove.

To encourage birds into your garden, the first step is to try and keep your own household pets indoors! You could also leave out food, such as a bird seed mix. Small seeds such as millet will attract small birds like sparrows, finches and the dunnock. Peanuts and sunflower seeds appeal to tits and greenfinches, but pinhead oatmeal is a good general food. Try not to put out split peas, beans or lentils which are added to bulk up some mixes; only large birds can eat these safely. The RSPB has lots of information about bird food for summer and winter months

There are some great stories about garden birdwatching and 'twitching', as there's been a reported increase in the number of goldfinches in Britain of about 80% in the last ten years and home wildlife enthusiasts have been greatly helpful in identifying the resurgence. We often talk about a garden room being a useful and valuable space for you family, but in taking an interest in British wildlife, you could find that it's a very valuable space for a much wider purpose.

Date: 28/11/2015 | Author: Roger Hedges