Totem pole….. further development

The totem pole feeder I started last weekend has been attracting nuthatches…and squirrels!  I hadn’t quite finished it last week, as I had the beginnings of an idea in my head… to create a platform that I could build photographic ‘landscapes’ on which to photograph the birds…. something which I could regularly change. I had the idea that I could use this platform to put different kinds of materials and then encourage the birds down to feed on food that I would hide.

First, I sawed about a foot off of the stump, to bring it down to a more suitable height for photographing. I then created a square platform of about 30cm x 30cm. I screwed this onto the top of the stump.

 I then put a layer of soil over the top of the platform as my first ‘landscape’  was going to partly be made up of moss. I also attached a large dead hogweed head that I saw on a dog walk… thought it would make an attractive perch. I fixed it by using a pipe clip as I though I could then remove it and attach other perches.

I then screwed in an attractive lichen perch that I found down the lane.

 I then gathered (from a pile of fallen branch and tree debris on the side of my lane) a bowl full of moss etc to ‘dress’ my platform…..

I tried to arrange the moss so you would not be able to see the food that I planned on hiding in the centre. I want to birds to land amongst the moss for that perfect photo opportunity!

With another mossy perch added to the left hand side and some materials onto the base, my creation was complete!

Finally, I placed some sunflower hearts and dried mealworms (that I had soaked to soften) into the moss in the centre. Checking from the conservatory that the perch positions and platform provided good backgrounds through the zoom, I was finally satisfied with my creation… all I needed was birds!

Within 5 minutes of coming inside, a great tit alighted on the platform… but too fast for a photo.

A blue tit did perch on the hogweed for a moment…

..not quite what I want, but not bad after only ten minutes!

To try to discourage the squirrels from destroying it, I moved my squirrel feeder from the other end of the garden, to this end. The blue tits were fascinated… they could see the nuts but could not figure out how to get them!

Watch my blog for some more photos from the platform… just need to find some time to sit there with my camera!