Latest posts by Lunarz

Where are all the birds ?

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 10:53

I agree with Steve - the most effective foods I have found are sunflower hearts and dried mealworms.  I started putting these out early last year, together with peanuts and suet balls, plus suet granules on the floor, and the amount of birds in my garden has really increased this year.  I've stopped using any other food as the birds seem to avoid the mixed foods in favour of the sunflower hearts.  I have found that the goldfinch even seem to prefer the sunflower hearts to nyger seed, so I have stopped putting that out too.  Blackbirds have arrived this week after a very long absence from the garden. I've had blue and great tits all year (I had bluebirds nesting in the garden and all chicks survived luckily considering the weather), chaffinch, greenfinch and goldfinch - all up in numbers from last year.  I don't think any of my neighbours feed the birds, so it could be that I am the only food around and that is why I am seeing so many?  I also have around 50 to 60 starlings which I would really like a break from, so I am hoping they migrate any day now...

on their way to garden near you!

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 10:43

The blackbirds were pretty much absent from my garden all year, but suddenly this week they have all arrived, and I can also see lots of them eating my neighbours fallen apples too.  I have lots of great tits and blue tits so I'll be very careful with this avian pox - luckily I have the ring-pull feeders which come completely apart and can be washed in the dishwasher so I will up that from once a month to once every other week.  I've had loads of goldfinch this year but only a couple remain, and even a male and female green finch with one fledgling, which I was really happy about as they nearly died out in the last couple of years with a greenfinch specific disease.  As for the starlings - they are certainly not in trouble here in Lincolnshire - I get 50 or 60 of them in my garden all day at the moment and I find them a complete pest to be honest in terms of eating all the food I put out for the other birds and covering my small garden in starling droppings  It is a small consolation that I am helping a declining species, but I do hope they migrate this week!

Starlings not migrating

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 10:34

Hi everyone - I was just wondering if anyone knew if it is normal for starlings not to have migrated yet.  I have a huge band that have congregated around my garden of about 50 or 60 - my garden is only 20ft x 30ft and the whole of the back hedges are now white with starling poo.  I put out mealworms and suet granules for the blackbirds and robins which is what is keeping them coming.  They are eating me out of house and home.  I felt sure that by now they would have migrated and I have seen groups of birds heading south over the last couple of weeks, but these starlings remain steadfastly on my hedges.  I'm starting to have the horrible thought that these starlings have already to my garden, and I will be stuck with them all Winter.  I am in South Lincolnshire.  Any thoughts please?  Thanks 

Talkback: Hedgehog spotting

Posted: 15/11/2012 at 09:30

Richard - they can swim really well, but as you say they can't get out of  many ponds.  I had a very small pond - 3ft by 4ft and I found one hedgehog swimming around in it which I had to scoop out by putting my hands underneath him each side, and very sadly another one dead in it.  I ended up putting loads of big rocks in it so that hedgehogs could at least get out of the water, and eventually I ended up getting rid of it and putting out bowls of water around the garden for the wildlife instead.  Luckily, I've found 6 baby hedgehogs in the last week or so and got them to a rescue centre for overwintering, so hopefully that makes up a little bit for having one drown on me!  The lady at the rescue centre told me that an estimated 4 1/2 million hedgehogs have been lost this year in the flooding - taking them from the endangered list to the near extinct list.  She also told me that at the moment, rescue centres have been asked not to release any hedgehogs into the wild next Spring as they are considering starting up a nationwide breeding programme to try and restore their numbers.  So sad.

Hedgehogs near extinction

Posted: 13/11/2012 at 20:27

I think you're right that the tidy gardening makes it hard for the hedgehogs Dovefromabove - I had never thought of it before either, but after my hedgehog rescuing efforts this week, I've raked my leaves and left them piled against the fence in case any hedgehogs need them.  After a crazy week and 4 trips to the hedgehog rescue centre, I managed to get 6 little hedgehogs, all under 300g, in for over-wintering - probably all from the same litter.  The lady there told me that the rescue centres have been asked not to release any hedgehogs into the wild next Spring as their numbers are so low, and so many were lost in the floods this year (an estimated 4 and a half million!), that they are now contemplating starting a structured breeding programme to try and prevent their total extinction.  What a sad state of affairs and what a terrible price wildlife pays for us 

Talkback: Hedgehog spotting

Posted: 11/11/2012 at 00:49

I put out dried mealworms and chopped nuts with raisins for the hedgehogs.  Even though my garden is small - only about 30ft by 20ft, I get lots in the Summer - sometimes 5 or 6 at a time, often there are males snorting loudly and trying to mate with the females all night (we have to close the windows to sleep!). In the last couple of days, I hav found three very small hedgehogs in the garden (two were 150gs and one was 280g) and I have taken them to the local hedgehog rescue centre as they are way too small to survive the winter. I think that if you put out food for the hedgehogs they are quite likely to come to your garden now days, because gardens are generally so barren nowadays compared to years ago, and their natural diet of beetles, caterpillars and earthworms are a lot harder for them to find - I'm sure it's a relief for them to find some regular nutritious food.

Lets hear it for the houseplants.

Posted: 11/11/2012 at 00:42

Your plants look absolutely great Jean.  I grew some indoor bulbs (small, white narcissus) this autum as recommended by Monty Don on Gardeners' World.  Unfortunately they smelt very strange - my husband kept thinking that we must have a mouse going to the toilet in the house until we worked out that it was the flowers! I will now be looking for some slightly less pungent bulbs to grow indoors for over Xmas and in Jan/Feb - any suggestions?

Hedgehogs near extinction

Posted: 11/11/2012 at 00:37

I'll have to try these banana chips!   Would you believe it - another 280g hedgehog in my garden tonight.  My garden is only about 30ft by 20ft. This one is not from the same litter as the other two by the looks of it as he is a little bigger than them.  He is now in his box, sleeping on a towel and ready to go to the rescue centre tomorrow - I felt guilty asking her to take a third one!.  I wonder if this year's crazy weather has sent the poor old hedgehogs' mating calender off kilter?

Hedgehogs near extinction

Posted: 10/11/2012 at 15:41

Great to hear that Spike has found a home Tim - great news .  Dovefromabove, I was worried about hedgehogs being out in the day earlier this year but apparently it is usual for them to forage for leaves in the day time, both for hibernation and also earlier in the year for making nests to breed.  How lovely for you to have them hibernating in your garden - I bought a 'hogitat', but it has remained empty so far....

The mystery of the disappearing hedgehogs

Posted: 08/11/2012 at 16:59

Discussions started by Lunarz

Starlings not migrating

When will they sod off! 
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Last Post: 06/05/2017 at 07:29

Hedgehogs near extinction

So sad... 
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Absolutely enormous slug

As big as my hand! 
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Will they survive? 
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Bird seed falling in pond

So much work cleaning it out! 
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The mystery of the disappearing hedgehogs

Where have they gone? 
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Discouraging Starlings

Any bright ideas? 
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Very short echinacea

One normal size, one very short 
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Are astilbes poisonous to some insects?

Lots of dead insects on my astilbes 
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Are sterile plants any good for wildlife?

Foxglove Pink Illumination - any nectar 
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Is organic fertilizer OK?

Or does it still count as an undesirable NPK fertilizer? 
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Feeding poor-soil loving plants in pots?

Should these plants ever be fed even if in pots? 
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How long do Lupins live?

How short-lived are Lupins? 
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Where have all the birds gone?

Birds have deserted my garden 
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Last Post: 21/06/2012 at 09:27

Is everyone else's plants very late this year?

Plants very late? 
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Last Post: 20/06/2012 at 10:04
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