I've had a couple of little signs over the past week that my six year old (middle) son is gradually tuning in to birds. A couple of gentle nudges seem to have borne fruit. I've learned with the older one that you can't be too obvious or too pushy as it as has the opposite to the desired effect.
We climbed in the car for the school run the other morning, a Greenfinch calling from a neighbour's TV aerial with it's distinctive nasal drawl gave me the opportunity just to draw attention to it's call as we loaded the car, he stopped to listen. Fast forward to a day later and windows down we slowed at a roundabout approaching Ashington, that same nasal drawl drifted through the window, "Greenfinch!" my six year old exclaimed with a hint of excitement, "Result" I thought.
Midweek he was on a school walk/trip to some local allotments, the route took the kids through Carlisle Park in Morpeth. "Watch out for the black and white Blackbird" I said matter of factly "it hangs around the kids park, with a big white tail feather."
That night as I came home from work he rose from his chair to greet me at the door, which in itself was unusual, his news? He hadn't seen the (leucistic) Blackbird during the school trip but an after school visit to the park with grandparents had delivered it "feeding on the ground really close." Result Number Two.