AN ANIMAL lover and wildlife photographer who has spent a number of years trying to hand feed wild birds has had her patience rewarded, so much so that birds now flock to feed from her hand.
For years Catherine Webster, from Kinnaird, has fed birds in her garden and in the last couple of years she has tried to hand feed the birds.
“I’ve been feeding them for about five or six years now but this is the first time they have landed on my hand,” explained Catherine
“I had actually gone out to feed the squirrel and had the seeds in my hand for them and that’s when the first cold tit landed on my hand. The rest of them all just came in after that.
“I have now had up to three cold tits sat on my hand at the one time.
“The great tit has been in the background for a while but he has finally come up and joined them.”
It’s not just photos that Catherine takes of wildlife. She is also a keen wildlife videographer and a video she took of the birds feeding from her hand has been used in the British Trust for Ornithology’s newsletter.
Catherine added: “It has just been the last three years that I have been trying to feed the birds from my hand although I have always fed the birds.”
The birds are so keen to be fed by Catherine that they now come to the door for food.
“I have a glass door at the back,” Catherine continued.
“When I moved the curtains to see how the squirrel was for food the birds started to appearing at the window. So they are coming to the door to be fed as well.
“I can’t go outside now without them following me.
“I went down to the woods to get a photo of the white pheasant and the next thing you know is that when I lifted the camera up they started to land on it.
“The robin red breast has not come up to my hand yet but he knows I have the food. I have special pellets for him and I throw them down for him and he often comes back for more.”
Now that Catherine has managed to feed the birds by hand she hopes the red squirrel will follow suit.
“I have been trying to get the red squirrel to come up and feed from my hand. I went away on holiday for a week and I was worried that the birds would forget about me and I would be back to square one when I got back.
“When my son was out feeding them and he got the red squirrel to feed from his hand. I am still trying.
“I can stand beside the feeder box and it doesn’t mind. It will come down and take its peanuts from the box. It will come up but just won’t feed from my hand.
“Thankfully the birds didn’t forget about me and the first day I was back they were there taking the seeds from my hand.”
Catherine takes great joy from watching the wildlife in her garden.
“I have put up two feeder boxes for the squirrels but the three squirrels all seem to go to the one box,” she continued.
“They will then get chased off and go to the other box. It is fascinating just to watch them running about on the tree.”
m Catherine’s images, which can be viewed at www.flickr.com/photos/lyncat, have been used by various organisations including the Scottish Ornithologist club who will also be using her images on their Facebook page.