A bird hide is a canvas construction with rods or canes used by photographers to get close ups of wildlife. They cost in excess of £100 so I decided to make my own. I used the rods from an old plastic greenhouse and 2 winceyette sheets. These were blue pink yellow and white candy stripes and had been kicking around for some time since I cleared my Mum and Dad’s house following their deaths.
Sewing the sheets together was less of a problem than I expected it to be possibly due to my hippy days of sewing flares and patches into my jeans. During the time I was doing the sewing my sister-in-law was on a visit and for some reason she found it hugely amusing especially when I was fitting the sheets to the framework.
I do intend to paint the hide with old brown and green paint to camouflage it. However as of yet I have not got paint of that colour. Having finished the construction even though it was brightly coloured I decided to erect it at the bottom of the garden. I immediately tried it out but initially, surprisingly, no birds approached. I decided to leave it in place thinking that despite its brightness birds would eventually get used to it. I was a bit concerned that the neighbours might think that it was a portaloo.
The following morning I was dismayed to find that something had been chewing at my winceyette cloth particularly in the regions where the plastic struts were. Presumably the culprit could get better purchase in these places. To prevent further damage to my project I decided to daub the edges with paint and I only had dark blue gloss!
The birds have got used to it to an extent and I have managed to get a few close ups of some common garden birds such as robin, blackbird and nightingale. I think the birds can see the camera lens poking out from the hole in the sheet especially the robin who seemed to have a very quizzical look on his face.