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Monday, 20 September 2010

Bird feeders

As autumn is here I thought it time to put out some food for the garden birds.  I'm fortunate to have a lot of sparrows around, and they love picking the seeds from the pampas grass! So I bought some bird feeders and hung them in the only tree in the garden big enough to hold them - a old gnarled elder, with leaves blackened by the gales of last week.  I'm not sure how successful these will be given the strong winds, though their location is protected from the worst of the South Westerly gales.  I had to reinforce the hangers as these were most definitely NOT robust.  Anyway peanuts and seeds feeders and some "fat balls" now adorn the tree in various places.

I can't accommodate the ground feeding birds like blackbirds as anything I put down will be eaten by the hens, but I'm hoping the blackbirds etc will get some of the "spill" from the feeders, and I can throw a little seed for them in the morning while the hens are otherwise occupied with their scraps!

I remember as a child, my mother would feed the garden sparrows at 4pm every day and the birds would line up on the shed roof and if she was late would even tap on the window!  So I'm hoping my ground-feeding birds can learn a similar time-keeping discipline for the morning and arrive in time for "breakfast"!

It has been lovely this summer as the garden has developed more "garden" birds appearing, and of course outside the garden are the field birds (meadow pippits etc), and the shore birds (lapwings, curlews, oystercatchers) and the sea birds.  Several broods of swallows have fledged from the barn. So the air around the house has been filled with a variety of bird calls from the different species.  It's lovely, just being 100 yards from the shore to hear such variety.

Anyway, back to the bird feeders. The packaging instructions of the bird-feeder said "Site out of range of predators" - Um........

On the plus side Button is a night prowler on the whole, so at least the birds will be free to eat in safety during the day - I hope!


  1. Reading this, Sian, words like 'slope', 'slippery' and 'long' leap to mind. Twenty years ago I put a few peanuts out for the birds, now we buy the seed and nuts by the bag, and the garden is festooned with feeders. Be warned.


  2. Here in northern North America, I've given up feeding any birds but the humming birds because of the scavenging of squirrels.

  3. John - yes I read your entry about your bird-feeding on an epic scale! I think the lack of robust trees here will restrict my enthusiasm for a while!

    Blake-Lake - Thanks for visiting my blog. Fortunately we have no squirrels to worry about in Orkney. Mice might eat the food (no rats on Graemsay) but hopefully they won't do too much damage.

  4. Jon - you're right it IS a slippery slope... the birds ate everything in a week and I'm already contemplating adding another feeder....!