24 MAY 1940, Page 15

Out-of-Date Food There came an almost exact moment when the

tits in the garden, who had fed greedily on the nuts provided for them, ceased to pay the least attention to the feast ; the caterpillars had hatched out. Already the old birds have begun clearing the bushes, though the campaign will not reach its height till the ten eggs now in the nesting-box are hatched out, and growing feathers make even greedier birds. The crop of caterpillars, and indeed of butterflies, seem to have been encouraged by the hard winter. The other day I plucked some hornbeam boughs to decorate a large bowl in the house. Every morning the slab on which the bowl stands was littered with the relic stuff chumbled by grubs so well concealed in the leaves that none had been seen. The tits would have had brighter eyes. While provided food grows less popular the bird bath increases in favour, especially, it seems, with bullfinches.