In a recent post on NatureSpot, Alan Cann has pointed out the importance of water in a garden. He’s thinking of ponds, and ponds support a wide range of amphibian and invertebrate life as well as providing a source of water for birds, mammals and other types of wildlife.
If you don’t have room for a pond, just a birdbath can make a difference in the garden, and as well as birds you may see other creatures coming to drink. This YouTube video shows birds at the birdbath in our garden. It was filmed at a different time of year, as you can tell from the flowers in the background, but it shows just some of the variety of birdlife that will come to a birdbath to bathe and to drink. Watching birds like this can give a lot of pleasure.
In case you don’t recognise them, the main bathers here are some blue tits and a coal tit. A robin lands and flies away, and a female bullfinch and a goldfinch come to drink.
You don’t need a fancy birdbath. You can create a simple source of water with a tray for standing plant pots in or an old metal dustbin lid, anything that will hold water. If you put it on the ground, make sure it isn’t close to somewhere that cats can lie in wait, as you don’t want to create a cat feeder!
There’s more information on how to make a birdbath and where to site it in this article on the RSPB website.