Garden birds

I have seen a few more species of bird in the garden since I last mentioned them and I have been trying out different feeders and food to see what is popular. Because the trees the feeders were hanging it were beginning to leaf up, making it difficult to hang the feeders there and also a rather large pigeon had started trying to land on the feeder, knocking it down and bending the thin branch to the floor there is now a very smart feeding station with 4 arms for feeders, a fat ball hanger, a flat dish for food and a water bowl.

I bought a larger seed feeder as I was getting fed up of filling the smaller one every other day, but the sunflower seeds in the smaller feeder are now proving more popular and the mixed seed is being ignored.

The berry suet stuff is still popular and the starlings are quite acrobatic in trying to cling on. I think I might have to stop filling this one up soon tho as the warmer weather seems to melt the suet and makes a nasty mess in the feeder, not sure thats too good really. A good tip I picked up from The alternative kitchen garden podcast was to cut down a plastic bottle – the type with a handle like a milk bottle – to make a scoop (keep the lid on) and I have found a 2 pint milk bottle can be cut to just the right size for scooping the suet pellets out of the big tubs and filling the feeders. Listen to the episode for more tips on reusing plastic bottles around the garden.

The biggest success, in my opnion, has been the thistle (nyjer) seed feeder. You have to buy a special feeder for these very fine seeds, and it has a tiny hole so how the birds know to peck there for something tasty is quite amazing I think, but they do and the day after I put the feeder up a Goldcrest appeared. The next day however two appeared and I haven’t seenone without the other close by since. Often they can be seen feeding side by side on thistle seeds, sometimes one is on the sunflower seeds, which they also seem to like, and occasionally one will wait in a nearby tree or bush while the other eats. I think its really sweet to see them together and I’m not-so-secretly hoping I may see some baby Goldfinches later in the year. I love animals (and birds!) like the Goldfinch that reminds us we don’t have to go somewhere exotic to see amazingly beautiful and brightly coloured creatures, we have quite a few on our doorstep.

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