Friday, 23 May 2014


....Or, Simply Hiding in Plain Sight?

I am quite the Conservationist.  Virginia McKenna has got nothing on me.  Every time I walk down our garden (I say, 'down' our garden. This means back down our garden towards the house. You will need to assume that I have already been up the garden and coming back down the garden therefore constitutes the second leg of this epic trip).  Where was I?  Oh yes, every time I walk down our garden I check that the bird feeder is replete with Fabulous Fat Balls
I know. It's humbling.

Well yesterday the Bird Feeder was, indeed, full enough and on closer inspection I noticed there were some 'little extras'.


SNAILS!  In a Bird Feeder?!?

Do not birds regularly consider the Garden Snail to be part of their staple diet?!?  I've witnessed many episodes of Birdies thrashing the bejesus out of a Gastropod trying to extract the slimy loveliness from its shell!
How entirely daft to dwell within an actual Bird Feeder!

As I peered closer I found myself asking no-one in particular if perhaps the Snails were not quite so dappy as I first thought.  The Dickie Birds would struggle to remove said snails from the Bird Feeder.
The Snails had in fact found themselves a Safety Cage.

And perhaps the snail isn't a First Choice Snack for birds anyway. Perhaps the Snail is relying on the bird preferring the tasty, fatty, seedy balls - thus leaving the Snail to live in peace.
Albeit in somewhat crowded conditions.
And upside-down.

I respect the Snails' choice and it certainly works out better for me.  There is a colony of Snails currently residing in our clematis.  Also residing in the clematis is our Retractable Washing Line (although sadly no longer any blackbird families - see tragic post from yesteryear) and when I retract the line it whips up with some force - usually dislodging several fat snails which come crashing down, making me jump right out of my skin.  Literally.
(No of course not Literally!  That's just me being silly and making fun of people who don't know what 'literally' means.  Literally.)

Later the same day (yesterday) the weather changed from Warm and Sunny, to Monstrously Stormy with Hail and Everything.
So being, as I believe I mentioned before, quite the Conservationist, I went out to see what the snails were at.

Bless them they had left the Bird Feeder lid ... and come down to eat the food.

Except for this one - who I think may be doing the Snail version of Stomping Off in a Huff.
Possibly because a bird may have pooped on him.

Of course in the rain the Snail is King.  They like a bit of damp. And presumably they felt safe to venture out because you never see birds out in the rain, do you?  After  the rain, yes, to collect the worms, but never during.  It stands to reason - they can't carry umbrellas with their little wings.

So there you have it.  Snails and Their Habitat by Kate.  Expect the paperback out in time for Christmas.

(I am surely not the only one who can see I am the obvious successor to Sir David Attenborough when he eventually hangs up his Natural History Hat?)

David NaturalHistoryHattenborough


  1. Snails, death to my Hostas and Dahlias. Check me out, being all like I know stuff about gardening and stuff. Feeling proper grown up now. Can you say "proper" when you are nearly 40?

  2. I think it's actually compulsory to say 'proper' when you are nearly 40. Sorry about your fancy named plants - luckily I have nothing for snails to eat...except for the bird food! OMG I've just realised why they are up there! Adapt and survive little snailies. There you go GWE, put some bird food out and the snails may lay off your Hostas and Dahlias.

  3. Hahaha this is brilliant! Maybe your birds are so spoilt with all the bird balls Snails are like gruel to them now? Or maybe the Snails have outwitting the birds once and for all. xxxx

    1. I think you're right on both counts - I have highly evolved snails in my garden and picky birds :-)