Cooler days in the garden show bird numbers appearing at bird feeders has increased

Routine and opportunities

On some of the colder days in the past week bird numbers have certainly increased, but unfortunately, I have been having work done in the garden on steps and a patio and this has at times disturbed their feeding opportunities.
I’ve made sure that before the workmen arrive I’ve put out a source of food and after they have left for the day, that further food is available before the birds depart for their roost for the night. I’ve also made sure that the bird bath has fresh water in it as after works have been done, dust and other debris sometimes finds its way into the water dish and I for one would not want to wash my feathers in it or drink from it!

Feeding has been pretty routine apart from that with smaller birds, house and tree sparrows for example, coming on the seed feeder in a small group of six or seven and doing the normal routine of arriving on my small front fence, flying across to the holly bush, hopping through the bush, flying to the other one at the side of the house and then round to the feeder. The collared doves have also been in the garden and tend to be there first thing in the morning on the seed feeder happily sharing it with the sparrows. Collared doves seem to be fairly reticent birds and I imagine although given the big difference in size, the sparrows know they are safe feeding nearby.

The robins have been around, both youngsters and the adults, hopping about on the patio where containers have been moved and no doubt they are finding tasty treats to eat. One opportunist young robin found that one of my gutters had some water left in it after recent rain and I watched it from an upstairs window popping into the gutter, splashing around to have a bath, then sitting back on the rim of the gutter before hopping back in and out a few times to finish it’s ablutions. The blackbirds have also been hopping about in the garden and continue to eat berries and at least one wood pigeon seems to have found the mahonia berries. The starlings have been coming in a smaller group this week.

I was very pleased to see the woodpecker again a day or so ago and this time it stayed for about 10 minutes, an hour or so before dusk, as most of the pigeons and in fact many of the birds had already disappeared, as it was a fairly dull day. It came to the dead tree where I hang most of my feeders pecked at the wood for awhile, then went on the peanut feeder and finished off with some of the suet square. It briefly went back onto the tree trunk before flying off and the picture again this week is of the woodpecker.

One other visitor this week was a coal tit and I’ve seen it on a couple of occasions coming onto the seed feeder. They seem to me to be shy birds and so don’t land for very long, but again it took the opportunity to have some food when the other birds had mostly disappeared for the day. As I finish writing this blog, the sparrows are outside the window in the holly bush.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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