We’re dining al fresco on a very hot evening. A blue tit swoops down from the rose of Sharon onto the bird bath and starts squawking loudly. It flies off.
“It wants some water”, says Jean Michel. “That’s funny”, I say, “I’m sure I put some in when I watered the garden earlier.”
I take a water jug and empty the contents into the bird bath which is about half full.
A couple of minutes later, the blue tit swoops down again, immerses itself completely in the bird bath with a great flutter of wings and flies off again. A robin red-breast who’s been waiting on the sidelines hestates then takes the plunge.
The blue tit really was protesting about the lack of water!
And a very funny thing – the term “bird bath” doesn’t exist in French. You can call it a vasque (pour les oiseaux) but that just means a basin for birds. When we bought the bird bath three years ago, Jean Michel was a bit dubious about its real use. He thought I just wanted it for decorative purposes.
By the way, we like to think the blue tits are the ones we watched one day peeking their beaks out of the birds’ nest up under the eaves to the right of the wisteria.