My New Bird Bath

My Old Bird Bath

For some while I have been using a white rectangular butcher’s meat tray as a bird bath during freezing winter months and dry summer months when birds need access to fresh water. It has rested either on the ground, or on a garden seat, or on top of a large Victorian plant pot when the summer flowers have died back. The stark whiteness of the tray and the depth of water (10cm) have, I think, put birds off. The only ones I have seen using it have been occasional blackbirds. Also I feel they need it near the ground but not actually on it.

My New Bird Bath

So yesterday I realised I could make the bird bath, shown in the featured image, using a plant pot and the type of saucer that plant pots stand in. Probably any would do so long as the saucer holds water and fits neatly into the top of the plant pot which is used as a stand. The saucer I used has a half round lip which I suspect suites birds feet. I like the terracotta colour, it suits my garden.

So far I have seen dunnocks (hedge sparrows) and a starling drink from it. The depth of water is 4cm (1.5″), the internal diameter of my pot is 35.5cm (14″), the external diameter of my saucer is 38cm (15″) and the height of my pot is 30.5cm (12″).

All I have to do now is move it around the lawn every day or two so the grass doesn’t die off. I might seek a spot on the border. Also VERY IMPORTANT change the water and keep the saucer clean and keep breaking the ice in the winter. Animals and birds need clean water just as much as we do.

See the RSPB: Advice on drinking water for birds.

1st Review – 17th Aug 2012

I just want you all to know how successful my bird bath has been this summer. It has been enjoyed by many of my garden visitors. blackbirds, sparrows, dunnocks, starlings have often been seen having a drink and a dip. They flutter their wings to splash water all over themselves. The blackbirds have sometimes spent several minutes in the water, hopped down onto the grass and then shaken their feathers to get the water off only to go back and do it all again. Young blackbirds have done it too.

I haven’t seen wood pigeons bathing but I have seen them drinking. They bend down and scoop the water into their beaks and then hold their heads up and stretch their necks to let it run down their gullet.

Over time it gets green stuff growing on the plastic. To clean it I spray it with HG Mould Spray (a strong bleach) and leave it for 15 minutes. This gets rid of anything nasty. I then give it a very thorough rinse with clean water before refilling it.

2nd Review – 23rd Jan 2013

Leo On The Lawn
Leo at 4½ years

I had a problem with my bird bath in the autumn (fall). I acquired a dog (border collie) and when we play outside he goes over to the bird bath to take a drink. This isn’t a problem for the birds but he (Leo) had a poorly tummy and we suspected he may have been drinking dirty water from this source even though I tried to keep it clean as per my previous posts. So with all the rainfall we’ve had in the UK I have put the bird bath away for winter. The birds can get water from my neighbour who has also set up bird feeders and a water supply. I will have to come up with a new scheme in the spring so watch this space.

3rd Review – 12th June 2017

The bird bath is still going strong although I noticed I am now using a different pot to support it. I’ve got it standing on a path so it doesn’t kill the grass.

I set it up  in the dry weather of spring and summer. The birds love it but I still take it away in the winter months. We’ve had rain and not many frosts this winter so birds should have got water from a natural supply.

Pigeon In The Bird Bath
Wood Pigeon In The Bird Bath

Apart from drinking the water they can regularly be seen bathing. Sometimes birds will splash around in the middle for a while then go and sit on a nearby fence. While on the fence they fluff their feathers up and shake their wings. They often return to the bath for another dunking and go back to the fence again. I recently saw a magpie do this at least three times before leaving my garden.

Bird Bath Users

The species I’ve seen drinking or bathing are:

  • blackbirds,
  • dunnocks (hedge sparrows),
  • house sparrows,
  • magpies,
  • wood pigeons,
  • starlings.

Northumberland Wildlife – Red Squirrel Included

There was plenty of Northumberland wildlife – Red Squirrel included – near Doxford Cottages this May (2012). I have seen the following within 6m of my living room: Brown Rat, Red Squirrel, male & female Great Spotted Woodpecker, male & female Chaffinch, male Robin, Blue tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Green-finch, Nuthatch, Wood Pigeon, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Sparrow, male & female Pheasant, male Blackbird.

All these creatures have been attracted by a peanut feeder, wild bird seed feeder and a squirrel feeding box. The birds, and brown rat, that can’t feed from the bird feeders (and those that can) have been attracted by the fallout from the feeders on the ground beneath.

Surprisingly the following birds have been able to feed from the seed feeders: Rook, Crow, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon. The Jackdaw can cling onto the feeders with wire mesh which holds peanuts but they can all reach the transparent seed feeder by perching on the wooden squirrel food box. All the feeders are attached to a telephone pole so they are close to each other.

Pictures and Videos of Northumberland Wildlife – Red Squirrel Included

Below I have some pictures and videos of them. First we have a male Great Spotted Woodpecker. The male has a red patch on the back of his head. Continue reading “Northumberland Wildlife – Red Squirrel Included”

Durham Cathedral Bungee Jumping


It was the second day of our vist to the Durham area. It was a damp morning with missle in the air but we enjoyed our walk along the Wear river bank opposite the castle and cathedral. We crossed the Wear and went to the cathedral where the vaulted ceiling amazed us. Apparently it is the forerunner of its type with ceiling ribs in the shape of pointed arches. How surprising, in this type of location, to find Durham Cathedral bungee jumping in progress.

Durham Cathedral Bungee Jumping

When we went outside, on the Cathedral green, and found bungee jumping taking place with someone being winched up ready to jump.

durham cathedral bungee jumping
Ready To Jump?

See the video below.

Street Photography in Kabul

Would You Believe There’s Street Photography In Kabul

I just watched a video which has impressed me as a technologist and photographer. It’s all about Street Photography in Kabul, i.e. taking very primitive instant photos in the street. If you are a technologist or photography see if you are impressed too. Watch the video of How to use an Afghan box camera (a “kamra-e-faoree”) below:

You will find more to read about the Afghan Box Camera here.

Finbarr’s Restaurant In Durham


“It’s a bit nippy, a bit dull and there have been a few showers.” – Helpful Colin, May 2012

In Durham there are lots of narrow hilly streets and the river has a big hairpin bend in it so you can walk over one bridge and after a short distance without doubling back walk over the same river again. The Market Place is pedestrianized and on quite a steep slope, but it’s all very clean with pedestrianized streets leading off it. Even the Market Hall on one side of it has a severely sloping floor inside it and a two storey staircase to get up to it on one side. Here, in the featured image, is a nice view of the River Wear taken from Elvet Bridge. I presume the rowers are sporting university types.

Finbarr’s Restaurant

We finished the day with dinner at Finbarr’s Restaurant, No.4 on Trip Advisor’s Durham Restaurants (at the time of writing), and deservedly so. It has a very nice ambiance and was well attended on Friday night. It also has a very nice bar area. NOTE: It can be difficult to find. Walk to the end of Waddington Street furthest from the town where there is an Arriva bus depot. To the right of it is a hotel through an archway. Finbarr’s Restaurant is around the back of the hotel off the car park and cannot be seen from the street. There is a sign for the restaurant on the left as you enter from the street by the bus depot.


Finbarrs Restaurant Durham
Finbarr’s Restaurant, Waddington Street, Durham.

Footnote: Sadly it slipped down to No.10 on Trip Advisor’s Durham Restaurants by 24/12/2014.