It's business as usual at the bird feeders

Business as usual

Over recent weeks I have been commenting about the young starlings, the young sparrows and the adolescent blackbird.

Well during the past week I have seen one young robin, so at least the pair of robins have managed to have one youngster and there could well be some others of course. The sparrows have been enjoying coming to the seed feeder, particularly if I put a little bit of seed in the tray under the main feeder, because they can come, take it easily and then fly off. I’ve also seen a blue tit and great tit on the suet log and other arrivals during the past week have included a young magpie, a couple of jackdaws, a couple of young crows who normally turn up with a parent in the evening, a couple of wood pigeons and one collared dove. I haven’t seen the pair of collared doves at all this week so I’m hoping that something hasn’t happened to the partner. In fact there were four coming regularly a few weeks ago.

The feral pigeons of course have been coming en masse each day and the four predominantly white birds have been visiting at various times and on various days. My picture this week shows one on the lawn. I’ve been seeing the greater spotted woodpeckers, although not as frequently as in recent weeks. One yesterday landed in a branch in the cobnut tree, saw a pigeon land and ruffled up its feathers and became more aggressive but then decided it probably wasn’t going to win the argument and flew off. Various birds have been coming to the bird bath saucers and the pigeons in particular have been bathing, then sunning themselves to dry off and the starlings have also joined the bathing but then fly straight off.

The squirrels are definitely starting to store food for the winter months, although I’m never too sure whether the supplies that they hide in the garden are ever retrieved, judging by the number of cobnut seedlings that appear the following year in all sorts of places. At least one squirrel has been removing cobnuts from the tree and I think they could well be a pair of them and they still supplement their food with some peanuts from the feeder. I think after a busy day of nut gathering they then have a snack at the feeder just before they head off near dusk. The birds are going noticeably earlier now from the bird table and the evenings are drawing in.

The weather has been somewhat drier for the last couple of days and a reasonable temperature and there have certainly been quite a few butterflies in the garden, mostly cabbage whites, some bees on the flowers, a hover fly or two and the other day I was walking up a side street and I saw my first dragonfly of the season. I have seen the fox, a relatively young one I think, walking down the side road opposite an hour or so before dusk and then coming through my garden. All in all it has been business as usual this week.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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