Latest posts by Lunarz

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Starlings not migrating

Posted: 10/12/2012 at 15:33

 Thanks Dove - actually the border under the hawthorn hedge that they sit on did do well this year!  As for the bird of prey, we have a regular sparrowhawk visitor and I have seen it take at least three starlings this year - it seems to specifically go for the starlings actually.  Although they are all back again 10 minutes after it has flown off with its prey and at that rate it will take it about 25 years to get the rest of them  I will put up with them for now - although if they are going to stay here for the winter I am a bit worried about what's going to happen if they all have babies in the Spring ...

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 10/12/2012 at 13:00

 I wish I HAD thought of that Kezza - but I've still got them all here unfortunately - chowing down on the oats along with the Blackbirds.  I think they are here for the winter this year - boo.  Hubby wants me to remove all feeders apart from the seed feeders because of the droppings, as they even eat the peanuts and raid the so-called 'small bird only' feeders too.  They are going to end up stopping me feeding everything   I honestly can't see how these birds are declining in number - they can eat anything!

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 08/12/2012 at 10:07

Good idea Dove - I'll sneak into the field under the tree that they sit on and put down some suet - yet another mad behaviour these starlings have brought out in me!  The neighbours must think that I am mad....

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 07/12/2012 at 17:22

Thanks everyone.  It sounds like I was just lucky that they all sodded off last winter then   Today I counted 70 starlings in the garden.  It has got to stop and as Dove says, I have got to keep putting the suet out, as it is insanity to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.  So.... before I stop feeding the poor old blackbirds too, anyone know of a food that blackbirds like and which starlings hate?  I think that the robins and dunnocks will eat the sunflower seed from the feeders so they should be OK and the tits can eat out of the suet ball feeders which I have already 'de-starling-ised' earlier this year.  Any ideas gratefully received....

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 13:56

LOL - I'm so glad I'm not the only one who jet propels open the window and shouts at the bushes.  Accompanied, with the occasional running out into the garden clapping my hands like a mad woman   I feel pretty sorry for my neighbours as, at least there is a reason for me to have droppings all over my hedge - he gets them all over his side and he's not even interested in feeding wildlife.  I am waiting for the inevitable knock on the door about me continuing to feed these pests...  If things stay this cold, perhaps there is a chance that they will still migrate - I was so pleased to see them go last year - and was so sorry to see them back with all the babies this year... 

on their way to garden near you!

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 13:51

Blackbirds will definitely love the mealworms, and suet granules which I noticed that they are now selling in supermarkets.  So will the robins.  Not sure about the wren.  

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 12:49

Yes, sadly that's the conclusion I've come to - but I would feel very sad to stop feeding the blackbirds and robins.  I've seen a couple of flocks heading South so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a week or two and if not, I'll have to decide whether to withdraw the food.  Such a shame as I have done a great deal to encourage wildlife into my garden over the last couple of years 

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 11:45

Yes, we are talking about the same birds - believe me, I know all too well what starlings sound like and look like - I have had to have my roof sealed this year because I had them roosting in my loft right above my head - not a sound that you want to hear at 5am when the sun comes up.  Then I had to seal up all of my bathroom vents because they got in there too.  I have had exactly the same pattern this year as last year so far - several adults arrive in the Spring, bringing lots of (brown) baby starlings, the adults fly off and the babies grow up around my garden. The babies coats gradually change to be like the adults, except that their heads remain brown.  They definitely all left my garden at the beginning of last winter which was a big relief to be honest, but now I am worried that I am going to have to put up with them all winter this year.  According to my (also RSPB) book, they do migrate from Northern Britain in the winter.  I simply can't afford to feed 60 starlings all winter and they are bullying all the other birds out of the garden, even the blackbirds. They are also covering the garden in droppings - and I mean absolutely covering.  It's as bad as having 50 or 60 pigeons in a small space.  I am sure that they are lovely birds from afar, and I know that their numbers are in decline, but in a small 20ft x 30ft garden, 60 starlings are a huge pest and actually quite distressing - even to a wildlife lover like me.

Where are all the birds ?

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 11:36

PS.  Buying in bulk on-line really helps with the cost of sunflower seeds and mealworms.  I buy from eBay - 6kg of mealworms (an absolutely huge bag probably up to your knee if it was on the floor) for £50 and 22.5kg of sunflower seeds (again, a huge bag, nearly up to the waist) for £35.  They then last a good couple of months with pretty industrial levels of feeding - probably three or four months with normal levels of feeding.  Buying in bulk also helped me to afford to be able to feed the hedgehogs too this year and I had lots of them too which was absolutely lovely.

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 11:00

They did migrate last year nutcutlet - I had lots of starlings last Summer, then no starlings all last winter and then they all returned in the Spring and dropped off their young, which are all now adults and which comprise the big group that I have now, plus I seem to have had several additions in the last few weeks.  All of the starlings in my garden are in their first winter - they have different coats to the adults.  I really hope that they do migrate again as I am in a situation where they are now eating all of the food that I put down for the other birds within 10 minutes of putting it out.  I am in Lincolnshire, so I did think that I am too far North for them to over-winter here - I know that they do winter along the South coast of the UK.  

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