Damp dark nights affect wild birds too

It’s getting dark, we’re off!

The past week has not brought very much sunshine to Kent and some damp weather too but it’s not been as cold.
However, it is noticeable that the birds are now disappearing from the garden by 4 o’clock, if not a little bit sooner and so unfortunately on some days they have missed their afternoon snack, as I have been involved with other activities out of the house and it is too late when I get back.

Two or three crows are coming each morning usually before half past seven and I managed to capture a picture from an upstairs window with them on my lawn the other morning. They hop about and look for any scraps left from the food from the day before, but unfortunately I think many times they leave empty-handed. Shortly after they have arrived one or two magpies will also appear doing a similar thing, although they are able to get into the cobnut tree and either have some of the suet square or help themselves to some seed from the feeder.

The pigeons are still coming in quantity and I’m still seeing the various groups at different times of the day, including the very identifiable mainly white birds. They seem to recognise me when I go outside and will often come down from the roof even when I’m not actually taking food to the bird table or feeders. The other day one almost landed on my head as it was so keen to get to the food that I was about to put in the bird table.

I have seen the normal group of starlings coming for the meal worms which they certainly enjoy and will devour as I’ve mentioned before, extremely quickly. They have to have had their last snack well by 4 o’clock or they too will have left for the day. That leaves towards dusk possibly a couple of jackdaws, a return visit by the crows or a late visit by the collared doves.

One or two blue tits are appearing and also a small number of sparrows, although I’m sure as the weather turns colder and autumn food in the countryside becomes scarcer, I will see an increase in numbers. At least one adult and one adolescent robin are also around and about in the garden and one will often appear when I go out with the meal worms, knowing I guess that it needs to be there before the starlings devour the lot.

I have had at least two or three squirrels in the garden most days this week and so the peanuts are going down at a rapid rate, which fools the pigeons when they arrive and those who have worked out about flipping the lid up on the feeder, as the nuts are definitely out of reach.

Insect activity at least as far as bees and butterflies are concerned has certainly declined and in the next day or two I hope to erect my bee and insect hotel for any that wish to take residence over the winter months. The garden is certainly showing it is autumn now with the leaves rapidly turning colour and falling from the trees as well.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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