Ivy has recently become very interested in birds. She goes to a child-minder one morning a week and they have some bird feeders right outside the window where the children play and last week they spent quite a lot of time looking at the different birds visiting the feeders, crafting pictures of birds and discussing what they ate - Ivy came home buzzing with it!
We're very keen to instil her with a passion for wildlife (and are already teaching her lots when we're out and about), but I thought I'd run with this bird theme this week so we made some 'bird cake' one gloomy afternoon.
Ivy loves getting involved in cooking so enjoyed being allowed to scoop the ingredients into a bowl and do the stirring. For each ingredient we talked about what birds might like to eat (seeds, bread, nuts, fruit and worms) before adding them to the bowl.
Making your own bird cake is really easy. You simply need to pierce a hole in the bottom of some old yoghurt pots and thread a piece of string through and tie a knot in one end.
Mix your ingredients together in a bowl and stir in some melted lard or suet before pressing the mixture into the pots and leaving to set in the fridge (I just made it up but you can get exact measurements here).
Even I was surprised at how successful our "special treats for birds" have been - they've only lasted about four days before being completely gobbled up, and we've had some new species in our garden including some beautiful bullfinches. Ivy has loved checking the feeders and spotting the birds.
To cap our 'bird week' off nicely we had a wonderful close encounter with a friendly Robin on a recent day off and I managed to capture this short video;