I bought a bottle of full-fat Guernsey milk (in a milk-bottle shaped bottle), yesterday, and I am now sipping it, mixed in coffee.
It made me think, about the blue-tits I used to see in the 70’s.
The ones that learned about the lovely creaminess sitting at the top of milk bottles, on doorsteps, just after the milkman on electric float has moved-down the road.
Somehow – and this if for those of you from later generations, the birds had worked-out that if they sat on the bottle, the could peck through the silver-foil lid and get at the cream sitting on top of the milk. Perhaps a red squirrel had taught them this and it caught-on.
Anyway, my point is not this, but the years when this started and ended; first folk put lids, covers or metal pots on the milk to prevent beak-access, then slowly the whole milk-delivery thing died-out; we used to get milk delivered by the farmer when we lived in Crane Moor, even that ended when we grew exasperated by how quickly it spoiled… Not homogenised or ultra-filtered, you see.
And of course, our anxiety about fat when milk became first 3%, then 1% then zero, fat.
So, the birds had it good for a few years, they adapted – not for long enough that birds with peculiarly shaped beaks were flying over the UK and then, just as quickly gone.
I wonder today, had things not changed – evolved for the humans, how the birds would be faring – whether we would have accepted a little garden bird spittle so as to support their population and have more back-garden diversity?