With a second period of cold weather here in sunny Worcester I thought it was a good time to repost this article.
‘Feed the birds tuppence a bag’ goes the song from the film Mary Poppins. I feed the birds in the garden all year round, it costs a little more these days.
Observing birds in the garden and feeding them is, for me, an important element of enjoying the garden, which occasionally provides some photographic material.
These are some of the “Birdie” photographs I have taken in Our Garden@19 over the years.
The main bird feeders are on the patio just outside the dining room, ideal for bird watching, with three more around the garden.
Today all the feeders are inside these cages to prevent the pigeons and jackdaws from emptying the contents onto the floor. I have made trays for them from plastic flower pot saucers, with drainage holes drilled in them, to catch the spillages, which I empty onto a ground feeding tray for the pigeons and collared doves.
A Gardener’s Friend.
I spy food!
Going in for Breakfast.
28th November 2014, A Female Blackcap arrives on the bird feeders.
Is this a sign of colder weather on the way?
I have noticed in previous winters the female is the first to arrive.
They are a very aggressive little bird, for the first few weeks after arriving it spends all its time chasing other birds away from the feeders.
Male Blackcap arrived 13th December 2014.
We have a family of House Sparrows that live under the roof tiles who regularly visit the feeders. I haven’t managed to photograph them they don’t stay still long enough, similarly with the Wren that visits, one November day I could hear one chirping away, from inside the house above ‘Jools’ on the CD player. How can such a small bird make so much noise!
From the smallest to the largest.
Well someone has to clear up any spillages!
The Collard Doves waiting to go down and help.
Mr & Mrs Blackbird arrive looking for their breakfast under the bird feeders.
Other ground feeders to visit are the Starlings…
…and very rarely the Chaffinch.
Great Tits and Blue Tits feed differently to most other birds, they fly in and select a seed.
Then they return to the safety of the trees, holding the seed with their feet, where they eat it, before returning for another.
One rare, welcome winter visitor is the Long Tailed Tit, they usually arrive in chattering family groups.
One winter I noticed a different bird on the feeders, it looked as if it had red head markings, I quickly took some photos and then consulted my Readers Digest Book of British Birds to discover they were Red Polls.
Red Poll’s on the niger seed feeder.
The main visitors to the feeders, both numerically and for colour, are the Goldfinches.
One day when idly looking out through the kitchen window, I noticed this brown bunch of feathers sat on the Pear Arch.
I dashed to grab the camera, hoping it would still be there.
I managed three photos from the kitchen window, before it flew away.
I think it was either a young or female SparrowHawk.
The foods I now provide are sunflower hearts, niger seed, fat balls and dried meal worms. I purchase them from Vine Tree Farm. Their food is reasonably priced, mainly UK grown and they donate 10% of sales to the Wild Life Trust in your post code area. (I have no commercial links to them).
I am testing these feeders (2020) to see if there is less wastage without using the cages.
The majority of the pictures were taken through the dining room window with the flash turned off using my Canon 18-200mm lens.
Please click on any picture to enlarge
I now use these Ring Pull feeders and cages, they are easy to dismantle for cleaning.
The peanut feeders are in the old cages with the homemade trays. I also feed a Ground Mix, much enjoyed by the Blackbirds, Robins, Dunnocks, Sparrows and Starlings.
What birds do you see in your garden?