Posted: 25/09/2013 at 18:17
Thoughts on bird populations: too many people, too much concrete, not enough woodland, not enough moorland, too many poisons.
I only use slug pellets indoors.
I'm serious. The slimy little gits got in under the bath before I redid the wall and were eating my seedlings and crawling onto the kitchen worksurfaces in the night.
I only use fungicide where it's clearly needed, too and insecticide only on things that aren't going to flower soon.
I've been trying to leave dense cover for birds while turning a useless, overgrown, straggly hedge into a proper, low, dense hedge that'll be good cover for them in the future.
I've spent £1067.11 on the RSPD and livefoods websites in 27 months.
As a result, I have some birds ... but not as many as I used to have. We're just not leaving them anywhere to live. Still, I get snail shells by the corner of the house and there's one female blackbird that comes to be fed. Maybe in spring they'll get more numerous again when they have babies to feed and all trek from miles around to come to my garden.
A side-effect is, of course, cats, pigeons, rats and squirrels. Unfortunately, I can't just shoot the cats. Maybe I should plant citronella. Would that work? Maybe I should just plant cyclamen bulbs everywhere the cats like to poo. Grrrrrr ...
House martins we do have in town, and bank swallows / sand martins by the river a little way downstream, and I've seen a red kite around here recently, but we don't get the huge mixed flocks of small birds that used to be around. I think you can still meet them up the Dales sometimes.
hedges should be trimmer in October, when they've finished breeding but haven't yet started digging in for winter.