Garden birds need extra bird food during the cooler months

Extra food needed

With the colder weather with us now, at least on some days, I decided to put out some additional food for the smaller birds and have placed a suet log in my cobnut tree in a position where smaller birds can gain access to it but probably the big ones can’t.
It’s not that I’m depriving the larger birds as they have plenty of food elsewhere in the garden. Within half an hour of putting out the suet a blue tit had worked out how to sit on it and the next day the starlings were taking it in turns to queue up, hop on the top of it, eat and then swop birds. Some of the suet is obviously dropping down onto the path so some starlings and small birds are taking advantage of that as well, so nothing will be wasted.

As I write this blog the suet log has been in the tree for five days and has almost been consumed. The starlings are certainly coming in greater numbers now at various times of the day and several of them have taken to using the bird bath, which isn’t exclusively for the feral pigeons, but has tended to be theirs over the summer months. Sometimes the starlings and pigeons are sharing or sometimes there are several starlings in the tray at one time and the ferals just stay away.

The jackdaws are back and have been making quite a lot of noise this week as they’ve been jostling one another to get on the peanuts or the fat balls. I don’t know if the birds in the garden overhear me reading through my blogs or whether they are actually reading them, but I mention things about a particular type of bird not having been seen for a while and lo and behold, one arrives not long after. I saw a wood pigeon in the garden the other day sitting in the holly tree helping itself to some of the berries, although the wood pigeons are still not around in great numbers. I’ve also mentioned in recent weeks that I had not seen the crows since the early part of the summer, but one large crow was down on the lawn the other day.

It amused me because it was hopping about as they do for several minutes, picking up leaves on the lawn and tossing them down again. It made me think that it had lost something and was looking for it, much as we’d look for say a dropped coin. Just for good measure in a recent blog I mentioned that I had not seen any magpies in the garden for some time but had seen them around and about, well yesterday one was sitting in one of my trees.

The birds that I have seen over the past week include a great tit, a coal tit, the sparrows in their little flock, the feral pigeons, a pair of collared doves who feature in my photograph this week sitting in the top of one of my conifers just before disappearing for the day, the crow, jackdaws, a robin and at least two blackbirds. Working on the assumption that mentioning it will mean that it will return, one of the predominantly white pigeons has not been coming to the garden for the last couple of days.

I’m hoping it just means it’s getting its food elsewhere but as it’s one who comes morning noon and night as it were, it is unusual not to see it at all.

Written by Margaret Emerson 

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