Find out how bird cope with cooler weather in spring

Much colder weather

After some real spring days last week here in Kent with the temperature up to 18 Celsius, into the 60s in Fahrenheit, and plenty of sunshine, this week has seen a change in wind direction to the northeast and bright sunshine replaced with cloudier skies. Today is noticeably colder with a brisk northeast wind and there have been some snow showers.

The birds have been very busy in the garden this week and a pair of blackbirds and a pair of robins are coming regularly to under my seed feeder and picking up food that has been scattered from it on the ground. I have been adding to it by scattering a small amount of either soft bill food, fat robin mixture or meal worms under the feeders, slightly into the plants, hoping that the blackbirds and robins will find them. I think they do and it also tends to deter the larger birds, particularly feral pigeons, who will gobble everything in sight and special foods are really for other birds, as they have plenty of their own. My picture this week is off one of the robins, as I've been scattering some meal worms on the end of my path in amongst the leaves of some hardy cyclamen and this robin came and found the meal worms and then hopped up onto the little wall afterwards.

The crows are coming more as well and will be there first thing in the morning, late in the afternoon and into the evening now that we have changed the clocks and also probably will pay a couple of visits during the day. I continue to scatter some food for them on a different part of the lawn so they don't spook the smaller birds when they come. I've also had a couple of jackdaws visiting quite often, so with the combination of the crows and jackdaws, the suet balls are starting to disappear more quickly, generally at least one per day. I tried to catch a picture earlier in the week of the jackdaws up in the old chimney pot, as they were clearly taking some nesting materials into it, but I wasn't quick enough.

I haven't seen so much of the sparrows in the past week but I'm sure they're round and about flitting between the bushes and I just haven't been looking at the right time. I've also seen at least one chaffinch coming to the feeder. Other smaller birds that I continue to see are blue tits and great tits coming to the suet square and occasionally onto the peanut feeder. The starlings are coming more to the bird table in addition to the other feeding location, to go on the second suet square and the peanuts, so obviously food consumption has increased and I'm sure even more so now it's turned colder. The pair of collared doves and pair of wood pigeons and a couple of magpies have also been dropping by.

In the warmer weather up to the weekend I was seeing bumble bees and other insects in the garden but I think they've all run for cover now. The squirrels are still visiting and taking some peanuts but not as many as in recent weeks.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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