Saturday, 10 January 2015


We've five feeders and two feeding trays in our garden. The feeder that’s usually been least visited is the Niger seed. The winter days mean that I only see the garden at weekends. Today I noticed that the Niger feeder was nearly empty.

Just after midday I found out why the Niger had disappeared as a charm of ten Goldfinches descended briefly on the feeder. Unfortunately something spooked the large flock of Starlings feeding on our neighbour’s fat balls and everything disappeared with them. It will be interesting to see if their interest in our garden persists.

Often we've sat at picnic tables and been joined by Chaffinches that come with in a few inches. This is in stark contrast to the Chaffinches that frequent our garden. I've renamed them Ditherfinches. They sit in our Ornamental Cherry or our neighbour’s Bird Cherry, flit towards the feeders, turn back half way and this dithering sometimes repeats itself five or six times. Once they eventually settle on the seed feeder they often spend several minutes feeding.

We have four cats that visit our garden regularly. One, we've named ‘Optimistic Cat’, because it once caught a mouse near our fence and now spends fruitless hours staring at the same spot. Whilst cats regularly spook our garden birds, I believe that their presence has a positive side. Friends of ours had to abandon feeding because of regular visitations by a large number of Rats. I suspect that we would have rodent issues if we didn't have regular feline patrols.

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