Posted: 14/01/2012 at 07:30
Always the cats get the blame for declining birdlife!
Some may catch the odd bird but most cats allowed inside during the day, will not "bother". They should be too well fed. YES it IS there instinct but there are other factors affecting our birds.
Bird tables and feeders need to be near hedges and/or other cover, also the water, hanging bird baths maybe.
I have a sheltered garden so have not yet had the birdbaths freeze. I also have a pond with the pump running all year round so birds can drink from the edge [keeping a watch for cats and foxes maybe] and some seem to balance on the water for a quick bath.
The starling use the hanging bird bath more than other birds, it can accommodate 4 starlings at same time - after the bickering and jostling there is not much water left for remaining starlings!! I have another big wooden bowl with water they use as well. As I top up the feeders and feed the foxes early evening I can refresh the baths so most starling will get their bath before going to bed!
The frogs and froglets have places under the stones around my pond and other upturned pots with leaves to burrow into. 2 years ago I rescued frogspawn that would have perished in the "freeze" the next day after being deposited. they were raised in a 4` fish tank managing to end uop with [short version - fed fish flakes, crickets etc, with 42 froglets from 100s of tadpoles. I/we learned a lot about tadpoles and froglets especially that they eat each other! These were transferred to a redundant aviary and fed crickets and mealworms and eventually found their way out in to the garden. So...we do have more frogs than we did. NOt sure I will do it again though.