We feed the birds; in fact we have a very large feeding station and the farmer spends a fortune on different types of seeds and feeds all year. We have nest boxes everywhere, most of which have now been colonised by house and tree sparrows and their breeding has been so successful this year that we are inundated with whole families waiting impatiently each morning to be fed.
Our hedges are full of blackbirds and they turn up too, mainly for the meal worms the farmer puts on the bird table itself, and for the various members of the tit family there are seeds and peanuts (also devoured by the woodpecker). Special nyger seeds deal with the green finches and goldfinches - so they all get well fed.
And how do they thank us? Well they don't. (apart from the fact that we enjoy watching them).
Outside our kitchen window is a magnificent rowan tree. As usual this year it is - or rather was - covered in clusters of bright orange berries.
Up and down the lane are many self sown wild rowan trees and they too are covered in orange berries and will remain so until there is a hard spell of weather. But we have hardly a berry left - the blackbirds have cleaned them up in the last fortnight - presumably because the tree is next to the feeding station they just use it as part of their daily feed. Even more annoyingly, if they drop a berry on the floor they don't seem to have the sense to go down and pick it up, so it lies there until some little mouse comes along in the middle of the night and has it for pudding.
And so we resign ourselves to another year of a berryless tree. But still, we do get pleasure from the birds who eat them so early.