Christmas in the bird garden

It was here before!

Over the Christmas period as I mentioned in a recent blog, I was putting out extra food in the garden that was scraps of chicken, sausage meat and so on leftover from Christmas meals.
I generally threw this onto the lawn away from the bird table and other feeders so that the smaller birds could continue to feed, while the larger birds such as the crows or the magpies, could come down and take the extras. It’s been noticeable in the last few days when I haven’t had any such scraps, that the crows have come down strutting about on the lawn in the same area where they had been feeding, as much to say “It was here before!“. They then tend to come over for suet pellets but they will still have some treats from time to time as I sometimes throw some suet pellets into that area of the lawn.

The feral pigeons seem to have cottoned on to the fact that there are mealworms and sometimes soft bill food in the tray at the feeder, although usually the starlings will get there first and so I don’t think they find very much. I think the starlings themselves have been playing let’s cram the birdfeeder tray as there were probably in excess of 10 swinging about in the tray of the feeder the other day and over 20 on the roof and local TV aerials. I have seen the blackbirds again during the past week and also a couple of collared doves who are coming for some food early and late in the day. I think they are probably also saying “It was here before!”, as my seed feeder had become blocked after recent rainfall. They were pecking in one of the ports, then going round the other side of the feeder and pecking there.

I’ve also seen great tits and blue tits coming and going, dashing from one bush to another en route to or returning from the feeder or suet square. I have seen some sparrows hopping about in the holly bushes on the brighter days but they don’t seem to be coming to the feeder as much at the moment. I mentioned the crows but there have also been some jackdaw visitors coming to the bird table and the suet balls and at least one magpie. One day a few gulls even were trying to land in the garden, although I don’t think they have a good enough landing zone to do it that often, but one or two managed to swoop down onto the lawn.

Finally, I mustn’t of course forget the other small birds such as the robins who have been coming for mealworms and the other wildlife in the garden which has included at least three squirrels. They have been chasing one another round the garden, burying peanuts in all sorts of places and generally startling the birds away when they’re running up the dead tree stump to the peanut feeder.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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