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we enjoyed our birdwatch this morning, especially as our usual visitors of chaffinches, goldfinches, robin, great tit and blackbird were joined by redpolls and siskins in groups of 5 or 6 of each. We've been getting them on and off but in only ones or twos for a wee while now, but they must have know they were going to be counted today!
Thanks for the tip about the pidgeons, I have about 15 that sit waiting every morning and eat everything that has been put out before the other birds can get a look in. They push all the other birds out of the way except for the wood pidgeon that is very aggressive and bats the pidgeons with it's wings but it is no match for 15 of them. I tried not feeding them at all for two weeks but as soon as I did the pidgeons were back. Can you suggest any other food that they don't like so I can stil feed the wood pidgeons, collared doves, magpies, robins and blackbirds ?
My parents loved the birds and had a lovely landscape garden. A robin became very tame and Mum baked pastry to feed him. She would stand on the patio hand outstretched and after several days of 'training', he landed on her hand. He became a cheeky chap, watching my Dad doing the carpentry in the garage, often perched on the bench. Robin landed on my hand to feed and I felt very humble as his little feet clung onto my fingers. The world would be a very sad place without the birds to keep us company.
RE: Reducing pigeon plundering - try changing the feed. I had the same problem till I switched from the cheapo market stall birdseed to 'mealworm crumble' and other mixes which contain smaller seeds. The cheap mixes always have a lot of either whole or cracked corn/wheat. Pigeons love that stuff and it's too big for the little birds. Since the other mixes are more expensive, I wait till they are on sale at garden centres/discount stores and stock up. I do still mix them with cheaper seed mixes to save money. Still get pigeons but not nearly as many.
Very nice bird blog. I wonder if I could borrow your pigeon scaring blackbird for my allotment?


Cal gal- thanks for the tip, but I have been feeding them sunflower hearts- I'll change to something less expensive but not the cheap mixes and see what happens ! Otherwise I'll be asking for the loan of the blackbird after gregbecker has finished with it !
Nibble and gregbecker - hands off my blackbird! Nibble - I don't think pigeons are so keen on mealworms, so you could try leaving out apples and mealworms for a few weeks to deter the pigeons and feed the rest. Kate
I am very lucky loads of birds visit my garden and I have feeding stations all over the place so that there arn't too many punch ups, makes me laugh though, when the robins and I have four of them are chasing every thing off, as well as each other, the blue tits picnch their food that I put out on hanging baskets, then proceed to eat their own food that I hang up for them.all sorts of birds come and luckily none have dominated the garden for themselves. how lucky I am.
We have a very tiny garden but several times a day we get visits from collard doves, blackbirds,sparrows,great-tits robins,bluetits,starlings who love our bird bath on any frosty morning we tip hot water in and they all fight while having their shower its a joy to watch,we have No cat ourselves but there are many who come into our garden and lie in wait but they soon shoot over the fence when they see my husband with his short metal curtain pole, he walks down the path tapping it on the ground and they're off over the fence, yes the cats come back again and then any grandchildren visiting open the patio door and shout cats cats - the birds I might add are used to this saga they always come back to their feeders and carry on feeding.
To keep pigeons at bay, have you tried just putting hanging feeders out and leaving the bird table bare? Just a thought that it might keep the smaller birds in the garden but the pigeons wouldn't bother as they can't feed from hanging feeders. I know it doesn't help the blackbirds, but still...
Thanks very much to Kate and Garden Nut for the suggestions- all very helpful. I am going to try Kate's mealworm and apple diet - for the birds not me ! I'll report back in a couple of weeks !
ive aleays taken an interest in the wildlife around me but for some reason recently , birds have come to the fore. i have noticed over the last few year an increase in sparrows in my garden-a few years ago i planted ivy to trail up the walls of the house and now it is well established as well as the 12 foot beech hedge that surrounds my garden i seem to have by accident, attracted them as they nest in both--i also get blackbirds, tits wrens, robins,starlings and many other types of birds frequenting the garden.
hello i also have blackbirds in my garden it is very unlikely for it to have captured a shrew someone tell me is this normal for the population of our blackbirds i am so worried i also see other birds eg starling and house sparrow i am so happy that i am saving our population.
Have a bird that looks like a thrush, its sits on TV aerial and roof and sings beautifully. Plus eats snails find a great deal of empty snail shells about. It is singing beautifully now. I also have a family of blackbirds, nervous wreck, we have too many cats about!!!!We have tits, robin, wrens,starlings,wood pidgeons, collar doves,finches and magpies. Not keen on the magpie, raids the nest of the black birds, found egg shells on my decking.
My husbands friend made me a bird feeder a few weeks ago, i now have all sorts of birds at it along with two squirrels, i love it.


Hi I have many many birds in my garden you can sit and watch them dart across your vision all day long lots of different varieties. Plenty of squirrels too and there is always enough food for all of them. It has been a delight. Two to three months ago I noticed the squirrels has not been seen and now that has been followed by most of the birds the odd one is visible but not the darting scenes I am used to. The food is lasting for three to four days instead of one day as in the paat. There are lots of neighbouring cats and always have been so it can't be that. Can anyone tell me a possible cause. Thanks x
Thanks for all your comments, it's lovely hearing all your garden bird tales. Clematis - I have a lot of pigeons too, which trample over all my plants and have just knocked the off one of two emerging hellebore flowers, so I feel your pain! The only thing to do is to stop feeding - maybe wait until temperatures warm up a bit so birds will have a better chance of finding food if there's none in your garden. I don't mind a few pigeons but they tend to bring all their friends and we've had up to twenty at one time! When things get out of hand I just leave apples out for the blackbirds. The pigeons don't seem to like them so they go elsewhere. They do come back, but in smaller numbers. Hope this helps Kate

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