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I came down this morning to find literally hundreds of bluetits in our garden. Now we live behind a park so that might be the reason. They were flying from trees nearby and perching on our fences and hedges and flying in front of the windows. I've never seen so many birds, and we have a box of a garden and don't have a feeder, bird table or even a little pond for them to splash about in. But... we do have a little (ballerina?)apple tree and we always tend to leave a few apples on the tree (largely because the birds always get to them first). And I believe it was the rich ripe apples that have been attracting them in droves. I've even seen a sparrowhawk in our garden (we live in Kent), a robin, wood pigeons and a variety of fawn coloured birds about the same size as blue tits, I am unable to identify as yet (sorry). But what a spectacle. If anyone has fruit trees, leave some of the produce out for the birds. They love it.
What works in my garden is putting in the bird feeders a mix of ordinary budgie seed (for the sparrows and finches etc) obtainable at all pet shops mixed with sunflower seeds (for all the tits). There is no point in putting wild bird seed in feeders as most of it is suitable only for pigeons.
Great post, thank you for sharing! :) I enjoyed your tips about the seeds! funnily rnough I have two bird feeds, and a little bird bath in my garden.. I was forever trying to attract the littles of birds, including blue tits and robins, however, I only ever got pigeons until I started putting all different sorts of seeds in my bird feeder. Now I get all sorts of birds, and I am forever putting out bread for the pigeons to keep them away from the bird feeder. I don't want them to scare of the littler birds.
Jackienook - you can't post pictures on this blog, but if you'd like to submit your photo as an entry to the letters page in the magazine, please email it to Kate
I put out a net of peanuts last year but didn't see a single bird interested in it! We have a few cats which come into our garden and have a cat of our own but i put the net where the cats couldn't get to it. I've just put a fat ball out next to the nuts to see what happens, any ideas how to encourage the birds to try them out?


have brought a nyjer feeder,within minutes of filling it up and putting it out i had birds feeding from it and this morning i saw my very first goldfinch [i think thats what its called] im very very pleased... now my sisters gonna buy this type of feeder. cant believe ive got another type of bird in my garden,so thank you people for all your helpfully advice..does anyone know how i can encourage the owls into my garden? i hear them most evenings but have no idea how to get them into my garden.
Sarah's pondlife - great news about the goldfinches! To get owls you need a large stretch of meadow and lots of mice!! Kate
well i maybe lucky as i back onto woods and also just to the side of the woods is a farm with loads of land/meadow,i also have mice nesting in my shed but i dont really want the owls to eat them so i guess i will have to be patient and watch to see them...[hopefully 1 day].
I live in suffolk and the blue tits are not eating fat balls?nuts etc i can hear them on the trees at the end of the garden, but not in our trees, we did have a sparrowhawk last year which ate a pidgeon, and get a few magpies any ideas how to tempt them back ??
Try throwing a few handfulls of bird seeds on the lawn every day and see what happens.
Why no sparrows,I have a flock of starlings, collered dove, two blue or great tits, robin and a wren.But no sparrows does any one know why.I live on Perton near wolverhampton
We have starlings checking out our robin box, may save them nesting in our roof this year
I live in North Kent. During this Spring & Summer we were lucky to spot a single robin or blackbird in the garden. Even though both had been common & managed to rear young over the last eight years. However in recent weeks one or two have returned to feed on worms & insects after digging & berries on Pyracantha & honeysuckle. Maybe the long cold Winter killed off alot of our birds last year?
I live in SE London. Last year we got lots of birds in the garden and 1 squirrel at a time, which worked as I also provided squirrel food. The birds and the squirrel paid no attention to each other and both got their food. This year we are getting up to 4 squirrels at a time in the garden and as well as eating the squirrel food they are also eating the bird food, which I don't mind as I enjoy watching their acrobatics as they try to and succeed at getting to the bird food. However, this year the squirrels are attracting all the local cats and whilst I enjoy watching their antics - the cats stalking the squirrels - the squirrels gaining the upper hand (although I get the feeling that the cats aren't putting all their energies into it!)I am seeing no birds as unfortunately there is always either a cat or a squirrel in the garden. I regularly scare them away, but I have a feeling that they watch from afar, because as soon as I retreat back inside they are back! I am still enjoying watching their antics and we have more cats in the neighbourhood than I originally thought, but I am getting a little fed up and a little worried that the birds can't get to the food now. I just hope that as the weather is still pretty mild here the birds are getting what they need, and will brave the cat/squirrel antics when the weather gets colder and they really need the additional supplements.
Do try to give the birds as high energy food as you can muster. I'm really lucky that I'm able to buy 56k bags of sunflower hearts locally and as a result our garden teems with wild birds.The blackbirds and thrushes prefer prosecto insectivorous...a meal everyone's happy. But never, never let them down once you have started feeding. In weather such as we have now, it could mean life or death.


I put husk free sunflower seeds on the bird table every day and have sparrows, blue tits and Wood Pigeons that visit every single day and a also a pair of collared doves. I even had a green parakeet visiting ! During the last three months a flock of Feral Pidgeons seem to hang around on the nearby neighbours roof and wait for the food to be placed on the bird table-they then swoop down- push all the other birds out of the way, eat everything and fly off.I have tried not feeding the birds at all for two weeks to try and get rid of the Feral Pidgeons and now am not sure what to do. I want to feed the other birds of course but my neighbour is complaining about the pidgeon mess on her roof. Any ideas on how to get rid of them whilst keeping the other birds ?
if you have a bird table with a roof, wrap plastic covered wire mesh ( with gaps big enough for small birds to get through ) round, and secure with wire ties to enable you to open and refil with bird food,that will stop the may take a little time for robins sparrows and tits to get used to it, but they will.
I have been feeding birds in my garden for quite a few years and I must say this year I have got so many birds I don't know what to do with them, I think I must have yours. They are great and blue tits also occasionally coal tits, robins, 3 at the moment, chaffinch and as I now feed niger seeds I am getting goldfinches, they are at various stages of growth.Sparrow and dunnocks in abundance, they love fat balls. I stopped feeding seed as you said they sort out what they want and drop the rest, so now its peanuts, black sunflower seeds,fat balls and niger seed, and any good scraps, pidgeon and moorehen pick up anything remaining on the floor. As you can see I have such a busy life watching my birds.

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