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Lavender Lady

I normally get birds in my garden but this autumn and winter I have had hardly any, just a few blackbirds and pigeons.  I have bird feeders out dotted around the garden but no visitors. 

Where are they all ?

Will the food be ok to leave out (it is just seed and peanuts in feeders).  Been reading about the birds cake recipe on the other forum so may give that a try to try and tempt them.

If anyone can help I would be grateful cos worried.  Why are they boycotting me.


There's a lot of natural food around still. They'll be round when they get hungry. I find the sunflower seeds and niger are attacked first, peanuts aren't really on the menu here yet.


I have sunflower hearts which they love, then they move on to seed, then nuts


It could be the rain as birds have to work a lot harder to keep the feathers dry,  I know that my birds only come when the rain eases off like just now,  it's been torrential most of  the day so the respite in it has brought them out by the flock,  no doubt as soon as the downpour starts again they will vanish,  if they get truly hungry they will have to put up with the rain and try for the food and hunger will over ride the need to feed,  just wish I could put brollies all over the garden for them 

flowering rose

I noticed that alot of birds are absent,more so than normal.Blackbirds in particular are noticeable by their absence .It is noticeable that the flock of black head gull s are missing from the common as are the pied wagtails,very few compared to what use to be.paranoia setting in about the lack of birds.


Steve the Gardening Vet

I have regular visits from loads of tits, several blackbirds, sparrows and our robin. Pigeons abound, doves visit and roving mobs of starlings appear daily.


Was somewhat surprised to see crows and a magpie robbing my fat balls earlier too!

I used to have blackbirds but this year can't think that I have seen any, but still have lots of sparrows and starlings that love to feed on the nuts, seed and any bacon fat that I put out.  With all this rain though the foods get wet through and if not careful mould appears, so have to remember to keep a check.

flowering rose

I think they have gone to your house steve.


I was also only thinking have fewer visitors than normal.

Wood pigeons are still here, but apart from the great & blue tits not many others yet. I can hear the robins & long tailed tits when am outside, but obviously enough food around for the time being. J.

Caz W

Business as usual here .  Starling numbers increasing too.  Weather set to get colder so hopefully you'll all get more visitors then.

I'm sorry to hear that Lavender Lady. Maybe all of your birds don't see Eye to Eye down there in Suffolk. Maybe they've all gone abroad for the sun - there's too much rain in the UK, don't ya know !    OR maybe you've given them the bird for some reason.

Actually, throughout the year there's been plenty of sparrows, magpies, pigeons and a few doves in my garden here in Yardley, Brum.. Seagulls & crows are common in the skies but never land in the garden. However, I haven't seen many blackbirds, thrushes,starlings or blue tits hereabouts.

Recently robin(s) have arrived - I think there are two. I thought that they were terratorial but maybe they're a pair. They're a real delight to watch & listen to, often landing a few feet away while I'm tickling over the soil. One was splashing about in the bird-bath today and (maybe the same one) allowed me to video it for a full three minutes while it was singing, perched on my compost container.

Enjoy your passion Lavender Lady.

Lavender Lady

Hi Bazza and everyone else for your comments.

Bazza you are certainly on form today, pleased to hear they have not deserted you though.

It is interesting to read the comments, some people seem to have lots of birds and others not so many as last year. 

The peanuts and seed has been out for nearly 3 weeks now, should I throw it away do you think, wondering if it will get mould etc and don't want to poison them when do eventually decide to visit me.    WIll get some niger and sunflower seeds (maybe a few fat balls) to try and tempt them back.   

Steve the Gardening Vet
I found the secret to enticing them in initially was mealworms and sunflower hearts.

It is almost as if they know they are the most expensive...

The RSPB annual report; The state of the UK's birds, says; there are 44 million fewer breeding birds now than there were in 1966. The Starlings that I have sorely missed this year have gone down from 10 million to 2 million, House Sparrows have gone from 20 million to 10 million. Chaffinch numbers have risen steadily and Collared Doves have soared to 1 million. (All info from 'The Week' mag) I find it very puzzling that so many birds are in decline, but several types are on the increase. Does anyone know why this should be?


Shrinking Violet

Instead of putting the peanuts in the wire cage type of feeder, they are in a little house-like structure, which means that they stay dry.  The tits swipe a whole nut at a time and fly off to eat it.  Shame insofar as we don't see them doing their acrobatics to eat the nuts, but at least they don't go mouldy, which was happening with the traditional feeders.

Sunflower hearts and mealworms - yes, the most expensive, but bringing in a wide range of blue tits, great tits, coal tits and long-tailed tits, as well as dunnocks, sparrows, robins etc.  Blackbirds and thrushes enjoying the apples thrown on the patio, and we have seen one goldcrest (briefly) and - a first for us - a waxwing!  Unusual in the west, I believe, so what that says about the winter ahead of us, I dread to think!  But the birds are costing us a fortune!  (And I don't begrudge them a penny).

Steve the Gardening Vet
I'd be happier if the crows weren't savaging my fat balls but the blackbirds seemed to like the bits that dropped off!

Artjak, I think its down to loss of habitat in a lot of cases. Some birds are more adaptable to changing circumstances. Others have a very precise type of area in which they can survive and if they lose it they can't survive. 

The birds are late coming back to the garden this year, but today I had sparrows, blackbirds, dunnocks,and a blackcap, and of cause the blasted pigeons. I have a seed tray on the floor  just outside the patio door so I can see up close who comes to visit.To stop the pigeons eating all the food I cover it with a large hanging basket cage which helps stop the pigeons getting the food. The  small birds hop in and out quite happily and the blackbirds  soon pluck up the courage to go in the cage,  the pigeons pick up the sunflower hearts that fall from the hanging feeders.

Shrinking Violet

Good idea re the cage over the ground feeding tray.  I don't put food on the ground, except for the apples, because of the marauding pigeons.  But I'll give that a go - hopefully the blackbirds will not be intimidated!