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By tanny



Like so many gardens in Britain mine is no exception, I have a bird feeding station, mine is in the front of the house just outside the living room window. From the house to the gate it’s only twenty two feet and the bird table is eight foot eight inches from the window where my wife and I have our cameras set up each day. To the left of the table we have an Azalea bush where we hang the seed feeders and along that from the house to the wall at the lane there is a well pruned Privet Hedge. At the right of the table is the Bird Bath.You’ll see by the photo’s I post what it looks like. I’m going to start this blog from this date 26th Nov and will try to post a regular story of what we see from now on. During the winter period I make a bird cake and it’s relished by the Blackbirds. Today I’ve put out the first cake for this winter and only a couple of Blackbirds came for a quick nibble, they seemed quite nervous of it at the moment, or maybe they’re not ready for this kind of food just yet because I counted eleven Blackbirds in the Holly tree in the back garden, all consuming those big, bright red berries that are clustered there. The Wood Pigeons are also in the Holly berries and soon there will be none left for the Redwing that come when it gets colder, mind you I did see two Redwing in the Holly tree last week.
The cake is made up of a mixture of, crushed bird seed, sunflower hearts, crushed peanuts. wholemeal flower, stale bread, (Multigrain of course) sultanas, and suet. I mix them together with water then put into the microwave and when I consider the mixture well done I leave to cool then put onto a plate till ready to be put outside. Tonight I went out and picked the cake up and put it on the table because last year I lost a couple to a night prowling fox.

A Dunnock took a nibble of the cake but its more interested in eating the shelled sunflower seeds out of the finch feeders. This is the first year I have seen these birds eating these seeds and this is unusual because they have a thin, pointed beak of an insect eater, a beak that is not suitable for seeds. The Robin also feeds on the Sunflower hearts and they only started this habit a couple of years ago. The third bird today to go for the cake was of course, the Wood Pigeon and after taking a couple of pictures I scared it a way because this bird has quite a large crop and would soon demolish the cake before any other bird had a chance.

The most regular bird to visit the station where the Jays, I call these bird’s my Parrot because to me they’re more attractive than all those Parrots that visited my garden in Australia. I put peanuts on the table and these birds would come and fill their throat pouches and fly away to bury them somewhere. The total of shelled peanuts that a single bird can hold at one time in its throat is between eleven and thirteen nuts. They have no fear of me and the wife as we stand in full view at the window about ten feet away, and are quite unconcerned when we have our cameras pressed up to the windowpane taking pictures, mind you if we were outside they wouldn’t allow us to get that close.

Another wet day with sunny periods so we stayed in the house and watched the birds and took their pictures. As usual the Jays were the most frequent birds on the table and entertained us throughout the day.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker visited once in the morning and we got a couple of good pictures of it, this bird only feeds on the hanging log that I drilled holes in and pack with a mixture of crushed peanuts, sultanas and suet. The cunning Magpie has discovered this treat and its struggle to cling to the swinging log is quite amusing.

A small flock of Redwing visited the Holly tree and there’s still plenty of berries to keep them here for at least a week. A couple of Mistle Thrushes perched for a while at the top of a nearby tree but they wont come to the station unless the weather is extreme.

The large flocks of Greenfinches and Goldfinches haven’t yet returned, only one or two regulars visit each day. Unlike many other gardens we don’t get the cheeky House Sparrow visiting, that’s quite sad really because when I was a youngster they were everywhere and their chirruping was a sound of my youth.

Blue Tits and Great Tits are the most regular visitors throughout the year along with the Dunnock who almost exclusively feeds on the ground and the Robin who is the only to sing in the garden at this time of the year.We heard the “Toowit – toowit” call of the female Tawny Owl quite close to the house this morning as we sipped our morning cuppa in bed. No male owl was around to follow with the “Twoo”.


1st December. An exciting day today, the Song Thrush has returned to the feeding station and is tucking into the bird cake. There’s not much left of the cake so it looks like I will be baking again tonight. The suet from out of the log is also empty, thank goodness the missus bought some more this morning. I have wedged some peanuts deep into the Azalier bush, just to make it a bit more difficult for the Jays to get at because they’re back and forth throughout the day and also it gives me a different situation for a picture.

The Thrush arrived this morning to find only crumbs of cake and gave me a disgusted look before saying, “Please sir I want some more”

While I made the cake he nibbled at some bits of stale bread on the post.

The new cake was made and put out before it was even cold and the Blackbirds attacked it right away

The boss Blackbird made the Thrush and other Blackbirds wait till he was finished

A hen Blackbird ate the apple while waiting her turn on the cake.

4th Dec 2009. Boss Blackbird was the first to tuck into the small grapes and then later tucked into the Pyracantha. The birds had eaten all the berries on this plant so I went over the road and cut off three shoots from the neighbors plant that has an abundance of fruit, and tied them to my plant. The third picture shows the view from the living room window, The cake on the stone, the table, in the background the Pyracanther, the bird bath with the Jay sitting there. At the far right is the Ornamental Cherry Tree with the suet log and suet balls high up. The only thing missing are the feeders hanging in the Azalea on the left.

My regular visitor, the Jay checking out hidden Peanuts on the lawn and taking them up into the tree to break open to extract the nuts, this picture was taken from the bedroom window. The Woodpigeon is another regular bird and I am forever chasing it away after I consider when its had enough.

The Pigeon gives me an apprehensive look expecting to be chased and its mate sits on the wall posing for its portrait. The Dunnock comes in when there are no other birds about and gets stuck into the cake.

More blog posts by tanny

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Wonderful bird photos. :o)

26 Nov, 2009


Lovely colourful photo's Tanny ! The jay ones are really clear.I haven't seen one in our garden yet but no doubt I'll know he's been when the acorns start sprouting in the pots !

26 Nov, 2009


Fantastic pics so colourful look froward to more?

26 Nov, 2009


Really great photos! Thanks for showing them to us. We don't get jays here - used to get plenty of them in Kent, where we used to live. Wood pigeons? Oh yes - so greedy! I call them 'jumbo-jets'! LOL.

26 Nov, 2009


Lovely pics Tanny.

26 Nov, 2009


Lovely blog...and very tasty recipe !

26 Nov, 2009


lovely blog. i couldnt put food down as the neighbours 5 cats would have a field day.

26 Nov, 2009


fantastic photos Tanny....Great blog.

27 Nov, 2009


Great photos and a lovely blog :-)

27 Nov, 2009


Thank you for your lovely comments, Ann and I are so pleased were able to share our little sanctuary with you.

27 Nov, 2009


Smashing blog and some really good photos, I love to feed the birds as well .Today I had loads came to feed, your bird cake looks good.

1 Dec, 2009


Great blog - lovely variety of birds.

18 Dec, 2009

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