Posted: 10/05/2012 at 08:19
I get rooks (there's a noisy rookery close by) and jackdaws who amaze me with their cleverness, flocks of starlings who clear the leatherjackets from the lawn, a sparrowhawk whose flying skills are jaw-dropping. The occasional squirrel, cheeky and acrobatic, ditto a rat who is attracted to the same things the mice, voles and hedgehogs are. Huge fat wood pigeons and masses of collared doves, of which I can't find anything to praise but they're part of the garden ecosystem (it is generally collared dove feathers I find in a huge pile in the grass). Oh, and a few neighbourhood cats!
I've stopped putting anything that contains suet pellets in the feeders as the starlings chuck everything out but the pellets and empty the feeders in no time. The mix with the pellets goes out in small quantities on the table and I top it up throughout the day. I shoo the pigeons off whenever I catch them over-feeding their faces but they have young to feed too so I'm not over zealous.
We have created an unnatural environment and we need to tolerate 'the wrong kinds of birds' or stop feeding them all together.