Category Archives: Birdy Ramblings on my daily dawdle

Shorter days and longer nights – our garden birds need food

 

It’s coming to the time of year when our garden birds depend on us more than ever for food.

The daylight hours are getting less and so wild birds have less time to find food.  The dark nights are getting longer and colder so birds need more food to see them through the long, cold nights

Less time for them to find more food.  Oh dear!  It could be the death of some of them.

We have supermarkets that are open 24/7 and and homes that shelter us from the cold and dark.  We can’t imagine searching for food and trying to find somewhere warm to sleep.  Birds do this and at the same time they sing and chirp!!  Amazing

I always get a selection of birds in my garden.  They brighten the garden up with their antics and chirping.

I only use ground feeders at the moment.  The blackbirds seem to be first in the garden.  I open the front door and there they are.  Now they will be here  at the crack of dawn. Waiting for food.  Waiting for me.

Some of my feeders are a bit Heath Robinson, but they work at keeping the rooks and crows and pigeons off the food.  These feeders mean the colourful garden birds can feed safely inside the home- made chicken wire mesh / garden mesh feeders that I put the bird food in.

Happy bird feeding folks and if you have any birdy stories / feeding tips or would like to ask about bird feeding etc please get in touch

Trisha

 

 

HEDGEROWS ARE LOVELY

Hedgerows are abundant with life and colour at the moment.  There is another world inside our hedgerows as  hedges and verges  provide a home and a food source for so many animals and insects. 

Walking along a country lane that has a wide uncut verge and a high hedge is, to me, much nicer than sitting in a neat tidy garden.

The flowers and grasses that grow are native and they grow year after year without us having to do anything.  Blackberries in among the hedges appear every year – a lovely food source for me and the wildlife. 

There seem to be so many different types of grass.  The different shades  merge with the different shades of the hedges and give an abundance of colour.  I pick a flower and so many small white butterflys emerge from within the canopy of the hedge that I have disturbed.  Birds sing.  Green, white, pink, purple – colour in abundance. 

The brilliant Dock Leaf is dotted here and there.  The dock leaf can stop nettle stings which is an important thing to know if you are a child  exploring outside among the trees, long grass and flowers.  There are always nettles lurking and always dock leaves to help stop the nettle sting.

It would be lovely if  these wild grasses and flowers were thought of as being the Best of British.

Time for a cup of tea now

I’m still trying to sort out how to finally send my Newsletter.  Help is as hand.

DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS?

Of course they don’t.  Do they?

I suppose it’s just another day for our feathered friends

Christmas Day!  ‘Oh Little Town of Bethleham’  ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’.  Just two lovely Christmas Carols that, in a lot of ways, sum up Christmas.

We have thrushes in a corner of the garden now.  I’ve been putting some sliced apple out and they ‘run about’ on the grass with the blackbirds getting as much bird food and apple as they can.  I’m lucky I can see so much from my kitchen window – I can see their antics and watch them unobserved

I’ll pop outside and give these garden birds a Christmas Feast

DAWN WAS BREAKING

Dawn was breaking when I heard the first blackbird of the day. 

I could follow his call as he flew from one corner of the bird feeding area to the other,  so  I went outside in the morning gloom and  scattered wild bird seed and  and an apple that was going soft.  Blackbirds, especially, love apple and will peck it to nothing in a short time.

There was also some mild cheese in the fridge so I used a bit of that as well.

The other usual suspects arrived singing / chirping happily, so I put the rest of the bird food out in my makeshift bird feeders.  I counted that I put birdfood in 7 different places in the garden.

When daylight arrived I could see from the kitchen window so many brightly coloured birds at the feeders.

Here’s one of them

They are such small birds in such a big world!

10,000 YEARS OF FARMING

We have had a report / survey done on the farm where I live

Part of the report says this is a rich agricultural landscape and has been the scene of intensive human activity /farming for the last 10,000 years. 

 This means the same soil we are growing food on now has been used by farmers through the ages.  That is the Yorkshire Wolds for you!

Pity at the moment it’s so difficult in farming. 

There has been a dairy herd here since the 1940’s but we cannot afford to keep it going.

But it’s great to think that the soil of the Yorkshire Wolds may be providing food for the next 10,000 years.

Feeding birds but not writing about them

I’m still feeding my garden birds every day.  I still put loads of birdfood out near the hedge and still get a variety of birds, which I enjoy watching from my kitchen window.

We are getting rabbits and pheasants still visiting!  A blackbird was resting in the dry soil.  It looked as though it had made a nest in the soft soil and had settled down for a snooze

The smaller birds still enjoy the meshed ground feeder.  They are safe inside.

Blackbirds and thrushes don’t have safety and hop about in the hedgerow, then along the grass.

Today I saw the feathers of a dead bird on the grass.  It will either be a sparrowhawk or a cat.

I hope it is a sparrowhawk that attacked and killed the bird.  At least that my move on.  A cat on the other hand will prowl all night long and kill so many birds.

As you can see I haven’t been writing much lately.  This is due to computer problems, internet problems and health problems.

I always seem to have something wrong with my computer.

I often can’t seem to access Bird Table News to write about anything birdy!   That’s due to computer problems.

I have back and knee problems – Oh dear me!  I am supposed to do healthy things now like swimming and yoga to help my back and knees.   It doesn’t do me any good to sit at a computer for a long length of time.

I will still be writing about birdy things sometimes and I will still check in to see if anyone has asked a question that I can help with.

But what I won’t be doing is writing every day or even every week.  I will be too busy feeding birds, doing yoga and swimming.  Sounds too energetic for me!

Trisha

WILD BIRDS FEEDING OTHER BIRDS NESTLINGS

No I don’t mean Cuckoos

I’ve just heard of an account of blackbirds feeding robin nestlings

Two blackbirds built a nest near to a robins nest.  The robins nest was a nest box and it had a front opening.

There were 4 eggs in the robins nest and all hatched.  The robins were fed by their parents and all was well.

One morning the cock blackbird was seen carrying insects in its beak – the blackbird flew to the robins nest.  Clinging to the robins’ nest box  the blackbird fed the insects to the young robins.

Amazing.  This happened more than once. In fact it was seen that the robins had left the nest. The robin chicks were fed by the blackbird.

At night time the blackbird flew and clung to the nest box opening.  This would have been to shelter the young robins.

The young robins did fledge and the blackbird was seen feeding them for a day or two.  I don’t know if the young robins did survive.

The blackbird eggs then hatched and the blackbirds went on to rear their own brood

The person who witnessed this is so lucky to have seen this happening in front of them in their  garden.

So as well as bird eating bird – birds do care for other birds as well.

Birdy Notes

I’m still as busy as ever feeding birds – and still finding ways of keeping pigeons, rooks and crows off the bird food

The nest boxes  on the trees  are a hive of activity and the branches have grown that they now nearly hide the nest box entrance – the branches and leaves blowing in the breeze.  I can still see what is going on through the window though.

It’s rewarding to see blackbirds and thrushes find their way into my  home made wire mesh and cane bird feeder.  I think I have now stopped the pigeons getting in as well now.

The pond is still used a lot – and I’m so glad we have it as we have so many birds visit every day.  Two tips  if you are making a pond – make at least one side sloping and also have a ledge a few inches deep on the other parts of the pond.  The ‘ledge’ will be underwater when the pond is full but many birds will be able to stand on this ledge to have a bird bath.

Take Care.  Trisha

Bird Table News is 3 Years Old Today

 

Bird Table News is 3  Year Old Today.  Where’s the candles?  Where’s the bottle of wine?

I’ve made it.  I’ve battled with technology and won

Here is my first note on Bird Table News

 

Some things change. Some things stay the same.

The thing that has changed is technology.  Now we can get smaller camcorders, digital recording devices to record birdsong,  I’ve joined Twitter and some times ‘tweet’ there,  My blog is run on WordPress – they always keep updating that – so I have to learn that.  I now know about widgets, plug ins, pixels, You Tube and a little bit about videos, making a calender with my birdy photos – and lots more. 

One of the things that has stayed the same is that the rooks are still maurauding the bird tables. It’s a strange coincidence that I started writing this online diary at the same time that the rooks started to come to the bird tables.  Another thing that has stayed the same is the garden birds that seem to take my feeders for granted and seem to feel at home here.

There have been so many things happen over this 3 years.  You would think that bird feeding would just be bird feeding, but no.  Things happen.  Here are a few things that I remember.

  • I’ve seen a crow eating a blackbird. 
  • I’ve been so close to a robin. 
  • I’ve wanted to throw a brick at this computer. 
  • I’ve really enjoyed hearing from people who have taken the time to contact me.  Thank you. 
  • ‘ve turned out in snow, sun and rain to feed the birds. 
  • I’ve spent a fortune on bird food. 
  • I’ve had to think of ways to keep crows off the bird food. 
  •  once  my camcorder broke and II couldn’t afford another one.  Then we found out it was covered with insurance
  • I’ve enjoyed feeding kitchen scraps / left overs to the birds
  • We’ve had a tawny owl in our garden.  The RSPCA came and took tawny to an Owl Sanctuary, but sadly Tawny  died at the Owl Sanctuary.  
  • We’ve put up a barn owl box only to find a Jackdaw nesting in it. 
  • I’ve seen a sparrow bring her fledglings to the fence above the ground feeder.  I could have sworn I heard the sparrow say ‘This woman is our servant and puts food on our plates everyday’.  

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I started Bird Table News in May 2007.  Unfortunately at Christmas 2008 there was a catastrophic hosting error (not our fault).  We lost our Blogs!  I started from scratch in January 2009.  I still wonder if I should have just done a pen and paper diary.

I still have notes and memories from May 2007 onwards and I sometimes put them on Bird Table News.  That is why I say the Bird Table News started in May 2007.

Best.  Trisha