In Italy we visit Lago di Alviano and enjoy their small birds’ hide. The hide is large and L-shaped, there’s furniture in there, camouflage netting and multiple vantage-points. There’s a large tree trunk outside, full of nuts, a reflection pool with bark and moss and seeds hidden in pockets, and fresh branches clamped in place as perches.
Here’s the sort of shot you can get. It’s a Marsh Tit:
It’s a pleasure to be there.
I can’t find anything similar in the UK, at least not with public access. There are private paid-for hides or personal hides in people’s own gardens, but nothing publicly accessible or charity funded nearby.
We drag a rotting log across the grass and place it on a picnic table at the nearest Devon country park. We stick a wilting branch next to it, and scatter seeds and mealworms as best we can nearby, and retire to the nearest picnic bench. A Coal Tit comes along:
Although it’s amusing that the Coal Tit is staring at a fly, it’s not really the same, is it?