Gull by Chris Connel
Photo credit: Chris Connel

Birdwatching. I often joke that hubby and I are like the modern day equivalents of Malcolm and Brenda. If you’re lucky enough to be younger than me you might not remember them, but I loved watching a bit of Watching on ITV in the 80s.

True, my other half, Chris, and I don’t have the bike and side car, but we’re lucky enough to live close to a country park and feeding station. And to be fair, when we lived closer to the City a few years back we spotted plenty of lush little songbirds in the back garden.

Birds - by Chris Connel
A baby blue tit being fed its dinner in our back garden. Photo credit: Chris Connel

Chris used to take his camera out to the local bird hides and I used to think – boring. Imagine being still and quiet while a whole host of colourful birds swoop around you.

Ah hang on. Sounds more like bliss doesn’t it?

Just as I was surprised by how much I enjoyed chilling by the lake watching the fly fishing, I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed being at the bird hides.

I can now spot Long Tailed Tits, Bullfinches, Woodpeckers, Wrens, Coal Tits, Blue Tits,

Kingfisher - by Chris Connel
Photo credit: Chris Connel

Great Tits, Robins, Goldfinches, Pied Wagtails, Starlings, Dunnocks (providing they’re eating from the floor), Robins (obvs) and Nuthatches (providing they’re upside down on a tree).

But not only am I proud of my growing knowledge that may one day come to rival the Observer’s Guide to Birds, but I also find that those moments watching the little flying cuties nibble seeds from the feeding stations are incredibly relaxing.

Long-tailed tit by Chris Connel
My favourite – a Long Tailed Tit Photo credit – Chris Connel

For someone whose brain can whizz as fast as mine can, this little distraction is an absolute escape. A blissful, relaxing, refreshing escape. Always guaranteed to bring a little peace to the frantic mind.




So if you’re up for it, do one or all of these things:

  • Set up feeding stations in your garden. Sunflower hearts, meal worms, nijer seeds, peanuts – a nice little mix to attract a chorus of tiny singers into your back garden.
  • Check out where your nearest bird hide is or feeding stations or just where there are plenty of birds hanging about and head out into the great outdoors for some fresh air, peace, quiet and the possibility of that rare sighting.
  • Sign up to the National Trust as there are ALWAYS plenty of great places to act out your Brenda and Malcolm scenes.
  • Check out this upcoming book by Joe Harkness called Bird Therapy – Joe is currently crowd funding for his project and I’ve just supported it – and I’d like you to as well as I can’t wait to buy this book.

And I’ll leave you to look back at the lush pics in this blog post taken by my talented other half – Chris Connel. He may be a simply amazing actor but he’s also pretty damn good with a camera. Check out the full range on Flickr.

My book, A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes – Naming and Shaming Mental Health stigmas is available to buy from Amazon.

3 thoughts on “Feeling tense? Flock to the birds for mindful moments.

  1. What a great idea, Lucy. If the weather wasn’t so horrible outside I’d be putting on my walking boots and grabbing my binoculars right now.


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