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A Walk on the Wild Side?

Posted on May 27th, 2014 in Bird Friends Around the World by Trish

I went for a walk yesterday morning.  Same old path, same old trees, same old view, so I did not take my camera.

Walking in front of me on a path full of mud and puddles  was a blackbird and a few yards further along was a small young rabbit.  They were ‘walking’ together.  Well, the rabbit was sitting then hopping and the blackbird was hopping / walking on the path.  They were close to each other and were aware of each other and were responding to each other.  I was close to them.

I was near a wooded area and wondered if this happened often in among the undergrowth of the overgrown wooded area.

Even more strange is that a few years ago I wrote a story about an unhappy rabbit who was befriended by a bird..  Strange but true

I walked a few more yards and was thinking how lovely the May blossom on the high hedge looked.  The long grass and wild flowers at the base of the hedge was lovely to see.  In among the long grass I saw an large old  hare.  He was sat facing the sun.  His face was looking up at the sun and his ears were flat to his head.  I watched him for a few minutes and he did not move.  I am sure he was enjoying the sun on his face.  My camera has a really good zoom on it.  Minutes passed and he realised I was there and slowly roused himself.  This in itself is strange as hares usually spring off into the distance when disturbed.  Many, many years ago people used to think there was a type of magic connected to hares.  They thought they were magical creatures

Last year I used to see two old hares travelling the fields together.   They moved in unison.  One sat down so the other sat down.  I did not see them often, but I believe they felt secure in the fields they were living in.

I waked a bit further and then had to turn back as my back and legs ached, but there was a spring in my step because of what I’d been lucky enough to see (but not photograph – or even video)

 

How do I feed Blackbirds, but not pigeons and starlings and magpies

Posted on February 24th, 2014 in Bird Feeding Problems by Trish

 

HERE IS A QUESTION FROM A READER.  PLEASE READ  AND SEE IF YOU CAN HELP HER.  SHE IS TAKING SO MUCH TIME TO FEED OUR SMALLER GARDEN BIRDS, BUT NEEDS SOME HELP AND ADVICE.   IF YOU CAN GIVE HERE ANY ADVICE YOU MAY BE SAVING A BIRD’S LIFE.  WOULDN’T THAT BE THE BEST THING YOU HAVE DONE TODAY

 

I’ve enjoyed reading everyones comments. I love watching the birds feed from my kitchen window and have several hanging feeders with fat balls, seeds (as well as ‘no grow’ mix) peanuts and sunflower hearts and a ground feeder that I put mealworms, suet pellets, grated cheese and songbird mix in and a guardian table (the small birds don’t seem to be very keen on it but the bigger birds are able to stick their heads in and eat all the food) which I fill with similar and a tube suet feeder.

This is all on my small patio!

I attract blue tits, cold tits, dunnocks, and sparrows and I have a robin that appears now and again, 2 pairs of blackbirds, a couple of thrushes, a pair of collared doves and two pairs of wood pigeons that live in a large conifer in a neighbours garden as well as around 12 starlings and also for the first time this year, a magpie (which isn’t common to this area) which has put in an appearance a few times.

My problem is that the pigeons and starlings (and magpie when it appears) snaffle all the food on the ground (especially the suet pellets) and also try hanging from the other feeders! I want to stop the starlings and pigeons stealing all the food and will often go outside to scare these birds away when the small birds aren’t feeding, but still want to cater for the blackbirds and thrushes but don’t really know what to do as the starlings are slightly smaller than the blackbirds so a large mesh guardian doesn’t seem to be the answer.

I’ve noted that some of the comments about feeding the blackbirds have mentioned putting food under bushes and the like but living in a town, the place is full of rats so I also have to put down poison making sure that it is covered enough so the birds don’t eat it. Has anyone any ideas as it’s costing me a fortune in suet pellets especially. Thank you

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HERE IS MY REPLY BUT I WOULD LOVE IT IF ANYONE HAS ANY OTHER IDEAS

I know what you mean.  It is nigh impossible to  to feed blackbirds but not starlings.  You can easily feed the smaller birds by putting the food in a wire mesh ground feeder.

One of the things I have done is get some chicken wire that comes in a roll.  I make a circle with the wire and use garden canes again to keep the wire upright.  I throw the food inside this meshed ‘safe haven’ bird feeder.  The wire mesh is big enough to let blackbirds, thrushes  and the smaller garden birds in.  The pigeons, magpies, crows cannot get into this circle so they walk about outside looking in and looking very annoyed.  It can be so amusing.

Here is a link to an article about another way to keep larger birds off bird food.  You may not be able to do this – and it does look strange.  It means you have to put garden canes round a bird table. The larger birds such as rooks, crows, pigeons cannot fly / balance to get onto the bird table.  Blackbirds and smaller birds can.  Unfortunately it means that starlings can get onto the bird table

http://birdtablenews.com/2009/07/keeping-pigeons-away-from-bird-tables/

Thank you for getting in touch.  I have not had an internet connection for ages, because of the storms.  Here’s hoping that things are sorted now, but I don’t think so as I know there is another fault on the line

INTERNET CONNECTION HAS NOT BEEN WORKING

Posted on February 24th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Trish

I haven’t been able to log into Bird Table News because the storms have brought a line down and there is another fault on the line as well.

The internet is now very hit and miss.  It disconnects itself (I feel it is alive and being awkward!) just when I need it most.

 

I will reply to any comment I get when the Internet is fully back in operation.  Here’s waiting for BT Outreach to sort things out.

Look forward to getting normal service resumed.  It is strange how we rely on the Internet.  I remember a time before the Internet.  I used to think  how strange the Internet was.

Happy Bird Feeding

Ernst Charles Birdfood

Posted on February 6th, 2014 in Bird Food by Trish

 

I want some bird food that includes bird food for blackbirds in the mix.  I’ve clicked on the Ernst Charles link on my website.

The way you order bird food from their website has changed.  They are having more stockists stocking their bird food.  Which will be good.

They now have an Amazon link to their bird food on Amazon.  As I am already an Amazon customer I searched around for my password, as I very rarely use Amazon, after trying one or two passwords I got the correct one.

This is the link to their Amazon site

Ernst Charles Birdfood Amazon Shop

They have a variety of bird food. I decided to order some.  It will be good to have it delivered to my door.  I have all sorts of bird food in my back porch which covers most garden birds, but I specifically wanted a bird food that suited blackbirds and thrushes this time.

I will let you know how I come on with the bird food I ordered from Ernst Charles

In the end I ordered

 

Ernest Charles Ernest Charles Songbird Delight

12.55kg

 

BIRD TABLE NEWS DVD FOR SALE

Posted on January 20th, 2014 in Ways to Help Birds by Trish

With help from a lot of people I’ve put together a DVD showing some of the birds that visit my garden and the area around it.

I have videod all the footage myself and enjoyed doing it.

I’ve decided to sell some copies – proceeds to go to (you’ve guessed it) buying bird food for our little feathered friends.

If anyone is interested in buying a copy leave a comment below and I will get back to you and I’ll keep you updated on the bird food I buy.

The price is £10 including postage.

I’ve called it Bird Life on the Wolds

Trisha

FEEDING BIRDS ON A DARK MORNING

Posted on January 20th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Trish

 

I’ve got an early start this morning so I had to feed the birds very early.

As it’s still dark  I’ve just been outside with a torch and 3 types of bird food.  Their breakfast is now ready and waiting for them!

As I stepped outside into the darkness two birds were singing so loudly in the hedge.  Their bird song went up and down in tone as they answered each other. On this dark, frosty, cold morning  it sounded so wonderful and I hope the bird food I put out is part of their breakfast.  They deserve it!

 

Bird food

Posted on January 19th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Trish

I am looking for a good all round bird food.

I used to be able to buy a large bag of bird food from our local garden centre .  This bird food  suited all the birds that visit my garden.  They don’t stock it any more.  I asked why and was told ‘they seem to stop everything that is good’

 

So I’ve had to buy different small bags of bird food, which is very confusing.

 

I particularly don’t want the blackbirds and thrushes to miss out.  A lot of bird food I’ve seen doesn’t cover blackbirds and thrushes.  I could be looking in the wrong places.

The really cold part of winter must hit us soon and I want to be stocked up with bird food as I hate to see my garden birds flitting round an empty bird feeder just as dusk is approaching.   I have a six mile trip before I get to a shop and in the snow that is not a good idea.

Am thinking of using Ernst Charles.  I’ll take a proper look tomorrow, but the beauty of it is it seems good bird food and it can be delivered to my door, as  I’m 64 years old and that is a good thing.  It would mean I don’t have to cart big bags of bird food around.

The image below does not link you to their webpage but the image on the right hand side of Bird Table News does.

Ernest Charles

IS THERE A WAY TO KEEP BIRD FOOD DRY IN WET WEATHER

Posted on January 9th, 2014 in Bird Feeding Problems by Trish

 

During this extremely long spell of very wet & very windy weather in the UK, I have been so frustrated at the amount of wet and congealed seed which I have had to throw away when fetching my feeders in every night.

 

Why cannot companies such as Gardman (who’s feeders I use) design a feeder which is truly weatherproof plus easy to fill and easy to clean. Such feeders are available in the USA (although very expensive) but not in the UK.

 

I could easily design one myself but have no way of making it. likely to act if others echo my views.  Do other bird lovers feel the same about this? Tony

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Hello Tony,
I so agree with all you say. I get so fed up with the bird feed that is wasted – which means that when the birds need it most it is wasted.
I used to bring my bird feeders in on a night when I used hanging feeders.
I am trying to make a waterproof feeder, but it is so difficult
You say you could easily design one yourself.  How would you do it?  I’m looking at ways as well.
I have a meshed ground feeder and I put food in there.  I also put wood, old plastic sheets etc. up against the feeder to keep the food dry.  It does help
Maybe we should pool ideas.  I’m in my 60′s but I do feel strongly about this
Trisha

SHOULD WE PUT BREAD OUT FOR BIRDS?

Posted on January 4th, 2014 in Bird Feeding Problems by Trish

This comment from Tina is in reply to a food list I published which included bread in the list.

 

Tina said – While agreeing with most of your food list I must take issue with the inclusion of bread. Most human food contains additives/preservatives/too much salt & white bread in particular all three while containing little or no nutritional value. It can fill crops with low energy food when they need high energy esp in cold weather.

All the qualified & experienced groups & people warn against this. If there are people out there unable to afford a mix or proper bird food they will, believe me, put out only bread thinking they have done the right thing as it’s in your list.

 

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I replied – Hi Tina,

  1. Actually in a way I agree with you.  Yet,  if there isn’t any other food about for birds to eat, then surely food with low nutritional value is better than no food at all.If I put bird food out I always soak it in water first. I’ve been told that is a good thing to do.

    It would be interesting to see what other people think

Nest Boxes for our Garden Birds – for breeding and for using as roosts

Posted on January 3rd, 2014 in Nest Boxes by Trish

Nest Boxes

There seems to be less natural nesting sites,  so putting a nest box up is more important than ever to help our garden birds.

Early January (or any time in winter) is a good time to put a nest box up because a lot of birds choose their nest sites early and also use nest boxes as roosts.

In winter birds need shelter from wind, rain, snow and freezing weather – winters can be long and hard for birds. In winter some birds stay for 16 hours a day in their roost – which could be the nest box that you bought.

Please get in touch if you have any top tips or have any questions.  Looking after birds is like having pets sometimes isn’t it?

In most cases it is best to use a simple wooden box with opening lid.  If the nest box has a lid that opens it makes it easy to clean the nest box out when the nesting season has finished.   Now is not the time to clean  nest boxes as they could be being used as roosts