Sunday, 28 December 2014

In the Garden again

Backing on to our neighbour’s garden, in a corner that allows the branches to overlap the three other gardens that meet at that point, is a Bird Cherry that spans about eight metres and is around ten metres high. It provides a vantage point for birds as well as a popular launch pad for visiting adjacent gardens, including ours.

The number of Blackbirds visiting our garden is starting to grow, as it does each winter with the influx of birds from the north. There were seven in the Bird Cherry at midday. As I ventured out to refill the feeders one male Blackbird casually hopped aside to let me pass and then resumed feeding when I returned to my viewing point at the kitchen sink.

One of my Christmas presents was a new feeding station; this has a few more hanging hooks than the previous station. It came with ‘free’ feeders. I can see why they are free – back to the drawing board Gardman. They have two horizontal slits at the bottom, through which all the seed flows out on to the ground. Perhaps they’re not intended for mixed seed, but I suspect that some sunflower seed would be too thick for the gap. However the station is a success with my existing feeders and has already been visited by 10 species. What we now need is heavy snow further north and in Western Europe to push a few Siskins and Bramblings in our direction.

I have commented before that the gardens in our end of the street and those that back on to them cover an area about half the size of a football pitch; perhaps a bit longer. I know of at least five gardens with feeding stations, so to the birds this is a large feeding area with lots of convenient fences and hedges on which to perch and see what’s on the menu.

We have black sunflower seed, niger seed and mixed husk free seed. Our neighbour has fat ball holders that attract masses of Starlings and the adjoining garden to our rear is regularly supplied with bread. Our list of birds seen in the garden (which includes the boundary fences and hedge) currently stands at 37 species, with a further 29 seen from the garden. 

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