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More Birds In The Garden These Last Few Days.


I have been very surprised how few birds we get in our garden, especially the last few months. We did find, last winter, that we had a few but, not this year until very recently.
Our new garden (we’ve been here 13 months) is very close to farmland(only 40/50 yards away in one direction so, I would’ve expected to get lots of feathered visitors as we did in our previous garden which was also near farmland. I do wonder if the mild weather this year had something to do with so few birds in the garden.Let’s face it, with so few frosts, food has been plentiful and there are so many berries on the shrubs/in the hedgerows.
But, we had a very hard frost this morning…the hardest of this winter so far and, what a change! Our garden and the green space behind us was alive with birds. I saw a crow in the Oak behind our garden which I’ve not seen before(the crow…….. I’ve seen the Oak before ha ha) The Jay who was a regular percher in the Oak last year(not seen much of him this year) was around, and lots of Blue Tits, a couple of robins , some Starlings, 2 Blackbirds and, I even saw a Green Woodpecker in the Oak and then saw him flying off…what a great sight.I’ve never had a woodpecker of any description visit any of my gardens or surrounding space before. I didn’t, unfortunately, get any pictures of the Woodpecker or the Jay but, here’s one of the Jay from last winter.

I am also getting lots of Wood Pigeons in the garden and they are putting the other birds off a bit. Trouble is, I fill the tray on the feeding station daily, as I did yesterday eveing but the Pigeons just sit in it eating until all the seed is gone
So, I moved this dome feeder to the feeding station (it didnt seem to be getting many visitors where it had been hanging nearer the house). It isnt set too low so even this cheeky, acrobatic Starling managed to get some seed from it. I dont mind that as long as the wood pigeons cant as they get enough from the tray.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago. Its been very windy and I noticed a couple of days ago that this apple had blown off the wall.When I looked in the green behind us today, I saw that someone had picked it up and put it on a small tree.They also put some fat balls on the ground in the green so this may have helped to bring the birds in the last few days.

What’s the betting, none of these will be about on the RSPB birdwatch weekend…….odds on, I should think.
I didn’t have time to sit and wait to get any better pictures as I’m busy working on my front garden at the moment…well, a couple hours a day, so as not to hurt my back as there’s lots of rubble/cement to break/dig out…..oh, and then, this afternoon we went to a local nursery (Reids of Sutton) to look at some small weeping trees for the back garden followed, of course, by the obligatory coffee and cake (well, cookie today) at a coffee shop we’ve not visited before so, we are broadening our horizons!

Hope you have lots of feathered visitors to your gardens..
Happy gardening and bird watching,


More blog posts by paulspatch

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Hi Paul. We have two feeding points in our garden and one is busier than the other. It keeps us entertained and Barry busy.

19 Jan, 2016


That is such a nice set up for feeding the birds. Hope you get lots coming into your garden, you probably will, now that it has gone colder.

19 Jan, 2016


Yes,the cold weather seems t o be the key! Last year we had some long tailed tits, hope to see them again. And, especially with the Pigeons eating so much, Linda, it certainly does keep me busy.
I hope so,Wildrose........I have this feeding station very close to my wildlife/bug home so I hope that while the birds are feeding, they may take a liking to the ideal nesting site in the roof!

19 Jan, 2016


Perhaps you'll get more birds when you have some bigger shrubs near the feeders - they do like somewhere nearby to retreat to when alarmed. Still if you have a jay and a green woodpecker visiting that makes up for a lot!

19 Jan, 2016


Yes, I don't have much room for big shrubs Stera, but the Rambling rose I planted last summer is really getting going and should provide some cover in a year or so on the back fence, very close to this feeding station. And, the Caenothus you can see was here when we arrived but it was very small but has started to grow strongly in the last year. I have been looking, today, at a small weeping tree which again, will provide a perching place for small birds! And, they have the Oak, directly behind the garden, of course!! But, as the garden matures, it will be a more attractive place for the birds, I' m sure.

19 Jan, 2016


I'm glad you've seen some birds Paul. I live near farmland also - there are fields all around, and I don't see many birds in my garden. I used to see more in the previous house which was surrounded by woods.

20 Jan, 2016


Nice to see they've found you Paul 😊

Here they've 'gone off' peanuts and want suet sticks....white with red berries in, not those nasty brown ones thankyou..... spoilt or What!

I'm with Stera on the bushes safe havens.....

I may be wrong, if I am I apologise
But are the fat balls still encased in fine netting?......
I thought I saw some green.......
The little birds feet get tangled in it, awfully stressful.

Its collared doves here rather thsn pigeons, they eat the seed too hard for the others so I din't mind, neither do the little birds it seems.....

20 Jan, 2016


There's plenty in the garden again this morning Hywel. Now the ground in the fields is frozen, I suppose.
There were over a dozen Sparrows at one time eating the dried insects I had sprinkled on the grass yesterday.
We have loads of doves Pam but even they don't get a look in when the wood pigeons are around. I do use both kinds of fat ball..the ones with and those without the netting.i have heard these stories about birds getting caught n the netting but I have to say, my experience is that I've never seen it happen in all the years I've been feeding the birds and wonder if it is an over reaction by some. They are in a metal cage which the birds cling to.I think u have to go by your own experiences and I've never had a problem with them.although, I do, when I think about it , take them out of the netting before putting in the cage.
There is a very large, dense Caenothus in our neighbours' garden, next to the fence, which the birds go into but when my own plants grow up, there will be even more places for them.
The fat block I have out currently has raisins etc in it and they seem to like them here.all the surface fruits were pecked off straight away. The tits are pecking at it as I write this and there's also one pecking on the apple which I put on the spike on top of the feeder station.(to replace the one that fell off the wall)

20 Jan, 2016


I did notice the little Ceanothus Paul and cheered it along to grow quickly for you . Just had an idea - a Cotoneaster horizontalis would lie flat against the fence and get as thick or as thin as you allowed - berries too.

20 Jan, 2016


Sounds fun Paul.....
As you said the'll be gone before the weekend!

20 Jan, 2016


We have put out bird food but the birds don't seem very interested.

20 Jan, 2016


Did you get a tree Paul? I'm glad the birds have come back to you. We see a little wren most days, and a blue tit sometimes, but I cant feed the birds as it brings mice in to the house from the fields. Plus it also encourages big flocks of aggressive sparrows in to the garden and the other birds wont take them on...except the yellow hammers. They don't seem to be put off by the sparrows, but they also go about in gangs here! They are like the mods and rockers...the yellowhammers are the rockers I think! I miss them. We do have blackbirds and robins.

20 Jan, 2016


Ha ha.......bird youth group wars!!!!! What about Rockin' Robin.....who's side is he on!! I don't feed in summer/Autumn if the squirrel is around!
No, it seems the case all round is year Peter but, they have started here now....lots of tits, sparrows, starlings, couple robins and blackbirds again today but, also....shed loads of wood pigeons and collared doves.
It's a certainty Pam.........I saw some home made fat balls at a local garden centre today not in nets and they were silly expensive! So, I may buy some when I have some money but skint at the moment as I'm still waiting for my Father Christmas earnings to arrive.
I'm afraid , Stera that of all the shrubs there are I dislike vey few but, most of the Cotoneaster shrubs , I'm afraid I really don't like. Most grow so bushy and I don't have the space. I did even consider a grafted weeping tree type of Cotoneaster because of the berries but, they really aren't my thing.But, I may buy a Sarcoccoca Confusa like I had at my old house(they aren't big but have black fruits which the birds like)
I haven't bought a tree yet, Karen. I was thinking Cercis Twisted absolutely gorgeous tree but I have read and also told yesterday by Bruce, the man at our local nursery that they can be tricky to our soil tends to be quite wet, I , reluctantly, think I have now decided against it.A shame as they have a very interesting twisted shape and beautiful flowers. But, I may now go for a weeping Prunus called Frilly Frock it has lovely variegated leaves and stunning autumn colour . The white flowers are nothing much to wrote home about but everything else seems to be ideal. All the examples I have seen, have a lovely shape. But, will have to wait till I have some money!

20 Jan, 2016


Decisions decisions - its so hard to choose just one from all that there are. I'd love a Cersis too but its too windy here.

20 Jan, 2016


The one we like as it had lovely twisted stem/branches and fantastic flowers was only introduce in this country, at Chelsea, in 2008 so, I wonder if it's not fully been established that it's suitable for our climate. It certainly seems they can be tricky to get established.

20 Jan, 2016


Paul, I think you might be wise there. My Cercis was troubled by wet soil, and so brittle...every year it would have branches removed by the wind. Of course, I'm a lot further north, but it didn't flower for me either. I took it out in the end. Also, one of the latest trees to leaf up, so all in all I think you've made the better decision. For an all year around small tree you can't beat Prunus Kojo No Mai. It has wonderful twisted stems, beautiful blossom and gorgeous autumn colour. Being small, it won't trouble your foundations like many Prunus. I've not heard of that one you've chosen...will look it up.

21 Jan, 2016


Karen how big did your Kojo No Mai get?

21 Jan, 2016


Yes, Karen I noticed the couple Cercis in the nursery had lots of broken small branches.
I like the idea of a weeping tree. The thing is, you read the labels about the size but if an upright tree likes its conditions, it won't stop growing taller usually

21 Jan, 2016


A few years ago Paul, we bought squirrel proof feeders from Coopers and still have them. They are brilliant for all the little birds and the pigeons can't get in them !

24 Jan, 2016


Yes....I have looked at some recently Rose and may buy one or two when I have some cash, but, this feeding station was bought for me by our youngest, a few years ago so, naturally I use it and there is a tray on it but any food on there just gets scoffed by the pigeons and doves!!

24 Jan, 2016


Just a tip Paul, to add to these feeders , we bought similar ones from the Garden Centre , but the birds don't seem to like them as they have no bottom tray where they can sit and perch inside the cage and there are perches inside the cage which makes it awkward for them to get inside ! Go online and look for Coopers as they are not too expensive.

26 Jan, 2016


Thanks rose, I'll have a look.

27 Jan, 2016

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