Monthly Archives: January 2010

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I thought I’d keep a note of how much bird food I’m using and where better than here on birdtablenews.

Today I bought

It is a seed mixture that includes sunflower, dari and millet.  It is for seed feeders.  This bird food  attracts a lot of birds including  Great Tits and Coal Tits, blackbirds, chaffinches, greenfinch, goldfinch, doves, starlings, tree sparrows and house sparrows

12.75kg GUARDMAN NO MESS SEED MIX – Price £15.49
It can be fed in bird feeders, bird feeders and on the ground.
Among the birds this bird food attracts are greenfinchyes, chaffinches, nuthatches, blue tits, siskins, dunnocks, blackbirds, song thrushes and sparrows. 


Oh dear.  I seem to have bought two bags of bird food that attract similar birds.

I already have some blacksunflower seeds and Natures Feast High Energy Supreme.

I also put out cut up cheese and apple.


It will be interesting to see the dates that I (I mean the birds) finish both these bags.

If it doesn’t snow then I don’t put as much out. 

My assorted flock of garden birds gets through a lot of bird food.  All the different varieties of birds do seem to act as ‘one flock’.  Chaffinches, blackbirds, wrens, thrushes, sparrows, pigeons seem to act as one flock.

I have sent in my Big Garden Birdwatch Results.  that is a good job done.




This morning I took the easy way to birdwatch – through my kitchen window.

It is a really good way to birdwatch as birds just ignore any movement inside the house.

I saw

2 blue tits


Blue Tit near my garden
Blue Tit near my garden

1 Rook

Rook at my bird feeder

Rook at my bird feeder


8 blackbirdsBlackbird

1 robin


Robin in winter
Robin in winter


3 chaffinches

4 thrushes

4 doves

1 seagull (walking with a limp)

21 tree sparrows>

1 dunnock

1 wren

5 starlings


My problem is that I found it hard to make sure theywere all tree sparrows.  Does everyone know the difference.  I haven’t submitted my sightings yet so don’t know if RSPB do distinguish between house and tree sparrows.

I saw a fleeting glimpse of a bird and was not sure if it was a wren or a dunnock.  Later on I saw one wren and then a little later a dunnock.  But it is difficult to distinguish between some birds isn’t it?


Water for Birds – A reminder

I know I’ve said before that we maybe take water for granted.  Turn on a tap or buy a bottle of water.  It’s always accessible for many of us.

Insect eating birds may only have to drink once a day

Birds that feed on seeds and other dry foods will drink at least two or three times

Birds can find water from ponds, puddles, rainwater that has gathered on leaves and some times from the dew

BUT  we can help by providing a constant supply of fresh water.


I live in East Yorkshire, which borders with North Yorkshire.

There are forests in North Yorkshire which are home to many birds and animals.

As they have had snow for almost a month Wildlife Officers are worried about how wildlife is surviving in the forests this winter

Birds like the goldcrest and dunnock which are insect eating birds find it hard to find food as their food is frozen under snow and ice.  To add to the worry small birds lose heat quickly and need to keep high levels of energy to see them through the winter nights.

Nocturnal birds have been seen hunting in daylight so they get enough food.  It only needs snow for a short time for birds of prey such as barn owls to find it hard to get enough food. 

Forests such as Dalby, Pickering and Wykeham forests are good for birds usually.  Inside the wood is a little warmer than outside.  The trees usually shelter birds and animals but this cold spell and all the snow has caused problems and lack of food for many birds and animals.  I live on the Yorkshire Wolds which is the opposite of the Forests.  Yorkshire Wolds has wide open spaces without any shelter for miles – yet there is a lot of bird feeding goes on.  The Forests of NorthYorkshire do usually give shelter and protection from the weather – but this cold spell has been really bad for many birds

Wildlife Officers have  a barn owl project in Dalby Forest.  They believe that many barn owls may starve –  but will have to wait to see how many of the barn owls make it through the winter.

Here’s hoping we have seen the last of the really bad weather.

Robin Redbreast

I’ve just  been lucky enough to pass 4 feett away from a robin red breast singing his heart out.

He was outlined against a blue sky while perching on a thin bare branch.  His red breast was showing and his face pointing to the heavens

There was just me and Mr Robin in the country lane. 

I can’t share this moment with you because I’d left my camera at home.  I can’t tell you how annoyed I am with myself for leaving the camera at home.  I’d thought it would be another ordinary walk with nothing special going on.  How wrong can you be!

 Have a good day


This is the last winter we will have a dairy herd of cows on the farm.  It will be very strange next winter.  But nice.

We also rear calves from birth.  We won’t be doing that next year as we won’t have any cows.

It will be so nice not to have to go out on a Saturday teatime to feed the young calves warm milk after the milking has finished.  Let me count how many calves we have a the moment that we give warm milk to. We have about 7 pens with 4 calves in each pen.  They have to be fed milk twice a day.  It takes so much time.  In this freezing weather we’ve had to wrap up warm.  I will be able to watch Saturday night TV and get tea over before 8pm.

It is sad in a way that this farm as a dairy farm is coming to an end.  It started as a dairy farm in about 1946 and there has been milking going on twice a day EVERY day since then.  JUST IMAGINE WHAT CHANGES HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THEN.

In the past the milk was put into churns and taken to the local dairy.  the milk did not travel far at all.

In the past there were more than one dairy farm in some villages.

In the past farmers walked their cows through the village and across roads to get them to the pasture.

What other things have altered since 1946 Iwonder?

You would have thought that in a country that only provides 50% of its food there would be ways to make money from producing good fresh milk.  But no. 

Dairy farmers have been leaving the dairy industry (and it is an industry, albeit a caring one) for a long time.  Welcome to the fresh milk from abroad era.  But then again I don’t think we have been self sufficient in milk since milk quotas came in.

I wonder if people ever wonder how much it costs to produce a pint of  milk.

Also, after milking twice a day farmers come in and there is such a lot of paperwork to do.  

When I first came to live here, which is many, many years ago, I thought ‘people will always need fresh milk’ .  I never thought that price and not making a profit would ever enter into it.

I seem to remember one politician saying (some time last year maybe) that we should buy all our food from abroad and build houses in the countryside.  Are they mad?  They don’t seem to realise how important food is.  People take food for granted.

It is within living memory that people died trying to bring food to this country (Second World war)

Back to birds.  They will be here long after I’m gone.  I saw two blackbirds on the birdtable they seemed to have an arrangement as to which one pecked and which one did not.  No fighting – just what seemed like organised co-operation