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My mother cleaned her feeders this morning, and put out fat balls too. We immediately got a whole bunch of blue tits, sparrows and great tits. And there are mistle thrushes in the big sycamore across the lane.
I saw my first Mistle Thrush for a long time today. I regularly get Robins, Blue and Great Tits, Finches and occasionaly a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. that's a nice tip about the seeds. I left the heads from my sunflowers out and they've been devoured by squirrels. I do so hate grey squirrels.
To date I have had 24 species of bird in my garden. I only feed them Black Sunflower seeds on the table, peanuts in metal feeders, nyjer seed in feeders, that gold finches go crazy for, they be queueing in the trees for a go. I also leave apples on the ground for Blackbirds and hopefully again some Red Wing. A Field Fare this year though would bring the species list up to 25. Heres hoping.
i have been feeding the birds for a good few years now and get loads of differant types of bird in my garden on a daily basis. yesterday i saw for the first time a sparrowhawk in my garden however the excitement soon turned to sadness as i then saw a great-tit in its then flew of with little bird..... im going to garden centre over the weekend and im gonna buy some of theses nyjer seeds i do keep looking at them,but the birds i mainly get in my garden are robins,great-tits,blue-tits,wrens,blackbirds loads of starlings,sparrows, wagtails,woodpeckers,magpies,crows,pigeons,so im not sure if they will eat the nyjer seed???? does anyone know if they will???????
I have a three quarter acer garden, large trees,shrubs,large lawn,flower borders,2 ponds,vegetable beds, soft fruit, raspberry, blackcurrants, gooseberries and strawberries. I do not use any artificial fertilisers or pesticides and have 6 large compost bins. We came to this house 11 years ago. I counted 28 bird species when we came in. 5 years ago a sparrow hawk appeared in the garden and nested in some nearby trees. Since then our small bird population has vanished. No food has been taken from the bird table or the 3 feeders. I have contacted the RSPB and they say that this is normal.Why when everybody else seems to have plenty of birds, why not me? Any suggestions? Walter Binns.


Here's our local birdy success story - An elderly couple live in the next house to us. They used to put kitchen scraps out on the lawn each day for the 'birds'. However, as you may have guessed, they also attracted every rat in the area. This soon led to a nest in their shed & complaints form those in surrounding gardens. The problem started because there were too many scraps & not enough birds, so by dusk the rats moved in to clean-up & soon braved it during the day. The simple solution came when bird-feeders & a hanging bird-table were installed in a tree close to the kitchen window, with small amounts of food. We now have five gardens linked with food for our feathered friends. Magic!
Where are the blackbirds,thrushes and all the finches? Normally by this time of the year I'm having to fill the feeders twice a day, but although there are a few blue and great-tits about and a couple of dunnocks, there's no sign of anything else. Are other people in different parts of the country having the same experience?
I recently put 2 new feeders up in my garden - and filled them with sunflower hearts - and I have much delight watching: Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Robins, Female Chaffinch, Sparrow, Dunnock, Great Tit and Coal Tit. I have also had a Green Woodpecker visiting the garden in the summer, And last winter, I had a male chaffinch and a male Bullfinch and a Long-Tail Tit. I have also put up a niger feeder as well.
I love reading these comments, but why do folks not say which part of the country they write from. If you want to attract Goldfinches and such, supply Niger seed. Pigeons get a bad name but they pick up every minute bit of food. No Pigeons --- more rats. (Oldham area ).
I regularily feed the birds and they come in their droves sometimes we have as many as 50 goldfinches. I am very conscious of cleaning the feeders, since we had a high death rate last month with green finches. I feed the goldfinches with niger sedd in a flokker but for some reason they will not eat the lower half and I have to empty it and put that into a smaller. We have a number of tits finches occasionally a woodpecker and have even had a pheasant eating from the feeders. Not forgetting the occasional squirrel, who at the moment is more interested in the walnuts!
I am in Lincolnshire. Perhaps I should add that we have virtually all native birds including every summer swifts that seem to return to the same nests each year. Wild birds occasionally they fly into the kitchen. My chickens wait patiently under the feeders to pick up dropped feed.
I think I must be one of the few lucky people who have to actually try to discourage so many birds coming to my feeders. We have geat tits, blue tits, coal tits, long tail tits, nuthatches, lesser spotted woodpeckers, green finches,to name but a few but our main visitors are bull finches. Sometimes as many as five or six of these at one time. I only feed sunflower hearts, niger seed and peanuts and the only time I use cheaper so called 'wild bird' food is for the number of pheasants that always appear in late winter. OK so we live on the edge of a wood, that obviously helps but sometimes, as a pensioner, with the cost of the seed, I feel that the birds are eating so much that I leave the feeders empty for a day, simply to discourage so many coming, with the hope that they will look for an alternative. When the young birds fledge they immediately start copying the parents and sit on the feeders while the parents feed them from the contents. I wonder sometimes if they ever eat anywhere else? As there are five feeders right out side our window, visitors come and spend all their time just watching the birds
sarah’s pondlife – goldfinches love eating nyjer seed. You’ll probably get them in the garden if you have a nyger feeder. They are very beautiful. Walter b – sorry to hear that. It sounds like your small birds have been frightened off by the presence of the sparrowhawk, especially if it’s nesting in your garden. While it is sad, sparrowhawks are a natural part of the ecosystem and are a sign of a healthy bird population. Clematis – are the pigeons using your feeders? It could be that the feed you use has a lot of barley in it, and so is favoured by pigeons, which scare off the blue tits. You could try changing the feed you use. If you have a bird bath, you could put a hanging basket frame over it to prevent the pigeons from getting in it. But remember that pigeons need to eat and wash too. Bookworm 4 – birds often only come to our feeders when there is nothing else available. Blackbirds and thrushes will choose berries over supplementary food. It could be that this year there are more berries available than last year. It’s also quite mild at the moment (well it is where I live), so the soil will be soft enough for birds to forage for worms and insects. They should come when it’s colder. Jackienock – wow that’s a lot of birds! I know it can get very expensive – especially of you’re on a pension – but if birds come to rely on you in winter, leaving the feeders unfilled could harm them. They use up a lot of energy just flying to feeders, so if they then have to find other sources of food, they are wasting valuable daylight hours and may not eat enough fat to survive the night. You could try feeding them kitchen scraps as well, and – if you don’t already - grow sunflowers and teasels, leaving them to go to seed for the birds, and also berrying plants such as holly, honeysuckle, pyracantha and cotoneaster. This should take the pressure off you a bit! Kate
i live in North Wales,and have had great pleasure for the past two years feeding the birds.this autumn however a flock of starlings (twenty or more)come in and eat the feed,peanuts,and the fat balls.I dont mind giving them some food but the smaller birds stay up in the trees,R.s.p.b. suggested stop feeding for two weeks.I am a pensioner so can't afford to be putting feed out 3 or 4 times a day,any other suggestions please.


I should point out from my previous message that I don't discontinue feeding in the winter. This is something that I practice during late summer when there should be plenty of other food available. The number of great tits visiting after they have fledged is unbelievable; every nest in the area must come here. Early in the season we usually get a visit from siskins who can also consume a vast amount though thankfully they do move on. This year we had a visit from one redpoll, a new visitor to me and on a previous year we had a flock of bramblings that at first I thought were more chaffinches until I noticed some strange differences. Occasionally we get a pair of blackcaps and there are just a few goldfinches. Dunnocks a plenty but sadly not one single house sparrow. We have actually had the sparrow hawk sitting right outside on the top of the feeder pole after an unsuccessful strike and a buzzard frequently sits in the trees just behind us. I was watching the pheasants feeding one morning when suddenly a fox appeared like a snake crawling on his belly. In a flash he was there and grabbed a pheasant, then retreated into the undergrowth. We have also had a badger right outside the house. Thankfully we don’t have rats but we do have mice and voles and I have a picture of a mouse sitting in the feeding tray, eating something in his paws. Don’t know if I can put a picture on this blog?
Just wondering if anyone out there knows if there is to be a Christmas edition this year
I have tried a variety of good-quality feeds, including peanuts and nyjer seeds, but the only varety that seems to go down well with my birds is sunflower hearts. I get mixed flocks of greenfinches and goldfinches, blue tits, great tits and coal tits, and one house sparrow visits regularly. I saw a greater spotted woodpecker for the first time the other day. The summer blackbirds have left, and the winter ones are just starting to appear. Wood pigeons, town pigeons and collared doves all queue up to eat the scraps that fall on the lawn, so never have a problem with rats. I live on the NW coast, near Blackpool.
I made a mash of porridge oats mixed with a cooking oil left over from deep-frying which has certainly proved popular amongst the blue tits and sparrows... nicholas e, SE Sweden
The bird that delights me with its song in the Bristol Botanic Garden is the goldcrest, our smallest bird. In the spring the young take no notice of people and hop round the yew hedges at a terrific speed, so small you can hardly distinguish them from a bumblebee except for the colour. The adult birds tend to feed up in the tall conifers but are more visible and their song carries for a very long way.