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Talkback: Garden birds in the snow

I am in the same positon as you here. I have been thrilled to see a fieldfare, whether he will stick around for the birdwatch now all my pyr...

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I am in the same positon as you here. I have been thrilled to see a fieldfare, whether he will stick around for the birdwatch now all my pyracantha berries are gone I am not sure but do hope so.
Hi Pippa, I enjoyed reading your blog. Our road this past week has been very icey, torville and dean would have loved it. I like the winter snow and all as long as we don't get a winter like the one we had a few years ago.
This morning I have been checking out all my plants and pots on my balcony (I live in a flat) like a mother hen. No casualties as of yet but was nice to go out their and potter around.
Even though I live in a flat, I am surrounded by trees, a wild garden and plenty of wild life. My flat is on the first floor and I feel I am up in the trees with the birds. They are all chirping a lot lately!
This week I saw the return of a Jay, haven't seen it since last summer, sometimes we get three. They are really beautiful. I have seen a black cap but not this year, never seen one before, we also get robins, sparrows, pigeons, thrushes, blackbirds, blue tits, finches, all types of birds, some I don't know the names of, but all lovely.
I hang feeders out from my window in the living room, filling them with mixed seed, sunflower seeds and nuts. Unfortunately there a lot of cats round here so I can't throw food out for the birds.
We also have a fox that comes up the road every evening checking all the bins and generally having a good nose around. It is a little bit on the skinny side though.
Today it's been nice to read what's on the website, especially your blog Pippa, it prompted me to write this, thanks.

flowering rose

I have had a few visitors a gold crest,the blackbirds are back and in a tree all on his own ,a field fare making that clacking noise.Plenty of foot prints in the snow of birds,foxes ,rodents e.t.c.and during the day light the foxes have been out and about,they normally keep a low profile.The Badgers don't make it this far when its snowing so they have not plowed through the fence for awhile.The robin sings his heart out on top the hawthorn and only hope spring is going soon.

Why won't birds eat the food I put out for them
Hi All, I live in Wolverhampton and have been putting food out for the birds for the last few years, this year I have added a peanut feeder and a shop bought coconut feeder. But I only get a few birds in the garden and most of the time the food in the feeders go bad. Can anyone help provide suggestion what I am doing wrong?


Could it be cats about ?   They are very aware of prey and my garden birds will keep away at times when cats are snooping around.

Also birds do like to have a bit of shrubbery nearby to hide in quickly should they need that.

A birdbath nearby is always an attraction to encourage visitors  ...even in winter and during the snow it's an essential part of their lifestyle to help rid themselves of lice. The lice are there because of huddling together during freezing nights.... but the birdbath needs attention every day to be cleaned out and topped up.             I keep antibacterial spray and an old brush nearby for that ....and give a thorough wash-out every now and again when I have more time. (The wood pigeons like to poo in it !) 


I have had lots of birds in my garden, I put out some fruit and some porridge oats (not cooked obviously) the blackbirds love it,  I've got a peanut feeder and a fat ball feeder.and meal a dish. Blackbird is the bossy one, chasing the starlings and anyone else that might try and take his meal worms. I have been out there breaking the ice on the bird bath several times a day. Luckily the snow has now gone from Bournemouth. I will be doing the Big Garden Bird Watch this weekend, it is something I do every year.

Keyser Soze

I never thought of porridge oats, must try it! We have been out every day giving them nuts and breadcrumbs in fat and they have been clearing it up pretty quickly. We make sure everything is in small pieces to stop the larger birds such as crows and magpies making off with it all!


I only buy Asda cheep porridge oats,nothing fancy.


We in in Neyland, so there has been no snow for us!  Tell a lie we had a dusting overnight that had gone by mid morning, the birds are eating everything we put out for thrm, includiing mealy worms and rasins and apples. 


Big Bird Watch week end again and the bird's have gone on holiday,All I have seen so far is a couple of Wood Pigeon's Crow's and Magpie's,No small bird's at all.

Kathy 2

Lately we have had pigeons, blackbirds, robin, great tits,coal tits, long tailed tits, maybe blue tits. We put out bird food and scraps, and every frosty morning I go out and put fresh lukewarm water in the water dish Birdwatch weekend so far - one blackbird and one robin. I agree with oldchippy - they have gone on holiday! 

Caz W

Not only were lots of my regulars missing on Saturday when I did my count, but today for the first time ever a Greater Spotted Woodpecker turned up

I agree with' 4get-me-not' about needing cover for the birds-when we moved to our current garden there were very few birds and no shrubs & any trees had been cut down! We put in shrubs & small trees that soon grew big enough to provide cover & just like magic the birds flew in & stayed. Despite having always had cats, the birds haven't been particularly put off! For the Birdwatch on Saturday a Redpoll & Brambling decided to pay us a very welcome visit.

When I was a child there seemed to be thousands of house sparrows and starlings even in built up areas yet you rarely seem to see them these days.

Spoke to a girl from the RSPB about this when setting up my monthly donation and once again it boiled down to their habitat being removed more than anything else.


flowering rose

just witnessed our two foxes having a relationship in the back garden,they were rather connected for awhile and total unaware  of being observed as i was meant to be looking for bird life,they then relaxed and the female so sweetly slid on her side across to the male ,who now ignored her,she  kept this playfulness up for some time,then they fell asleep on the the lawn in the rain,then disappeared,I then  went on to spot to bedraggled pigeons who looked worse for wear.

Re sparrows - my street (Elloughton, E Yorks) has a number of Hawthorn hedges and mine is (ahem) huge, to say the least. But I have about 50 sparrows that live in it and they make a real racket both when they first wake up in the morning and at night, when they gather for bed. It's just like flicking a switch as they all seem to start/stop together.

But, during the day, the gang move around the street to other hedges and feeders and visit my feeders are specific times. They have a real routine.

But numbers look good - despite several local cats and a brazen Sparrow Hawk. Both of which I chase off several times a day.

And, in response to an earlier post - feeder positioning is important. I have mine right next to a hedge to try and give them a chance of diving into it when the hawk attacks. It's so fast it's like a stealth bomber and they really have a race on to get out of the way. And it's an awful sound when it gets one....

Have had up to eight long tailed tits in the garden over the cold weather - usually only see them in the summer. Lots of other wildbirds too - blackbirds, coal/blue/great tits, greenfinches, goldfinches, woodpecker, wood pigeons.


My joy this year is to see 8-10 long tailed tits hanging on the feeder pecking away at the food.

Since the snow has gone, lovely to see the green grass, the birds are still around but not as interested in the birdtable. Previously plenty of blackbirds, starlings & others fought each others for a space on the table. I'm guessing this is cos they're able to find more of their natural food now ?!