Saturday, 9 January 2010

Birdwatching update

My Fieldfare has perked up no end after three days of good food. He arrived rather weak, but now he's holding his own against the Blackbirds (21 of them at the highest count this morning!) Similar numbers of Chaffinches too, but sadly the Blue and Great Tits are in lesser numbers. They would rather have the seed than the peanuts because it takes so much energy to peck at the peanuts, so I've been grinding some up and throwing that out, along with some dried fruit for them all. I have lots of feeding stations out there, most of them on the ground, so they can get to the food more easily and there is less competition for it than just having one area.

The Tits have finally discovered the big fat ball with millet in it. I shall do a birdseed one tomorrow and hang it in a seperate tree.

The water for them to drink and preen with soon freezes over so at the moment I am out there every couple of hours to top it up and offer more scraps and seed. The apples are now getting in short supply so I am cutting them in four which feeds 4 times as many birds.

There is a row of elderly ivy-covered ash trees along our boundary and I think they are providing roosts for many of these birds at night. Last winter I watched as many as 8 tiny Wrens take it in turn (there was a strict pecking order) to creep in behind the barge boards at dusk, to cwtch up together and keep warm.


  1. I adore wrens, we have a pair who dart about like little mice, in the low branches and shrubs. I leave them grated cheese. Today all the birds got the remains of 6 peoples fish and chips!

  2. Your pictures are stunning.. and I adore your header picture! You have a great talent for photography!!!
    I am continuing to take scraps across the fields for the birds... I will not feed them in my own garden because my cats and next door cats are always looking for an opportunity to catch birds..
    Jane xxx

  3. Kath - right, that's grated cheese for the wrens. I'll put it in the hedgerow bottom tomorrow - we have a wall/bank/snowberry hedge where they hang out. I've made another 3 fat and seed bombs for them tomorrow, one using the fat from the mince for tea.

    Aromatic - I just point and click, but having said that, I know what "looks" right, if you're with me. One of these years I shall have a really good camera. We have 3 outside stray cats coming to be fed and 6 inside ones (who barely venture out in this weather) but only VERY rarely do they go after the birds. They prefer to go mousing and voling as we have long grass in the paddock since the horses have gone, so plenty of little squeaky things to hunt.

  4. The cold weather everywhere is just brutal for birds and animals--and I whine about chills and draughts from a house that is tropical by comparison.
    I need to try a different seed mixture in hopes of luring back our little birds. Strangely the wind has been still during the cold, so the feeders haven't been whipped off the branches.

    9 January 2010 12:20

  5. Beautiful pictures. We have had more snow that usual these past few weeks so the birds really appreciate the feeders.

  6. I know what you mean about blackbirds BB - we have twenty most of the time and yet in the summer, when there is plenty to eat in the fields, we hardly see one. Glad to hear the fieldfare is recovering. We have had very few berries this year, where usually our hawthorn hedges are hung with berries, they have been very scant and this must have made it hard for the fieldfares and redwings. Keep warm.