Pine Cone Play

As I mentioned in a previous post, both children are really into bird watching at the moment. It’s great – keeps them still for five minutes, looking up rather than down (its very easy when you’re outside to focus primarily on the floor, try raising your vision up and out) and starting to recognise key species of bird, by shape, colour and size.
Pine Cone Play

Eomer does stretch the imagination to include new lesser known varieties (man eating eagles…) and species that rarely grace the UK, but on the whole we’re getting to know our little garden birds better and better.

On the weekend of the national Garden Birdwatch, we donned binoculars again and headed outside. While counting which birds we saw, we also decided it was time to lay out a little mid winter snack. We’ve tried a few different homemade feeders and this is one of our favourite for pure sensory experience.

First we mixed up peanut butter with a heap of bird food and seeds…a truly mucky, sticky bowlful! Then we rummaged through our treasure boxes for the biggest and best pine cones (with the deepest grooves) and set about squidging the mixture into/ onto the pine cones. Tying string on, each child found a favourite place for their feeder and hung it ready for the birds.

Next up was a mini bark feeding table. We used the little hand drill to make four holes, then threaded string through to make it hang. Both children wandered off to watch where the birds might land and then raced back to spoon the sticky mixture onto the bark.

Judging by the noise and excitement, I expect not too many birds rushed down immediately (except the ever trusty and territorial robin). However, by the next day, most of the food had already gone, ready for a refill. A lovely, sticky, rustic way to feed the winter birds. What are your favourite homemade feeders?

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About the Author

Ruth Lively-Masters

Ruth Lively-Masters

About Me & Mine

Having lived in N. Devon for the last 12 years, we recently moved across to the other side of the world and now live in New Zealand on the North Island. Our adventurous family includes my husband Phil and 2 small cheeky children: Ramona 8½ and Eomer 5½. I have a wonderful day job as Lead teacher in the sensory unit of an SEN school and spend as much time as possible outside, exploring nature and environments both on our doorstep and further afield.

Favourite place in the world:

Hmm, that's really tough! I loved the west coast forests of British Columbia in Canada, such a humbling, incredible place - tall trees right down to the big ocean waves. There's a whole lot of other places I'd love to explore though...moving to New Zealand has opened up a whole world of new adventures and we’re slowly finding new favourites to add to the list.

Sea, mountains and forests in any combination please!

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Again, lots of favourites. Definitely a mix between walking, cycling, surfing, camping and exploring, combined with taking time to notice detail of a place, hear the sounds and absorb the changes over time and seasons. Active and quiet times are both invigorating for different reasons.

Comments (2)

  • Fiona Moore

    Fiona Moore

    03 February 2015 at 20:16 | #

    What a great post Ruth.

    And our favorite (and most successful to date) bird feders are also pine cones covered in peanut butter and bird seed (even if Emily was slightly grumpy about sharing 'her' beloved peanut butter with the birds!!).


  • Cally Worden

    Cally Worden

    21 February 2015 at 09:14 | #

    What a lovely idea, so simple yet effective. We tend to save the fat from any roast we have, chill it to harden, and roll it with any seeds we have in stock along with some peanut butter to bind around a stick or into a net saved from veg purchases. As long as it's quite chilly outdoors that seems to be well received!


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