A woodpecker making frequent visits to suet squares and bird feeders

Then there were three

In recent blogs I have been talking about a greater spotted woodpecker coming into the garden and onto the feeders, although I was never sure whether it was the same one.
Over the past week, a woodpecker has been making frequent visits to my suet squares and climbing up the dead tree stump where most of my feeders are hanging. Yesterday evening most of the birds had left the garden early, as it was clouding over by 7 o’clock and rain was threatening and a woodpecker came on the suet square followed quickly by a second, who was pecking the tree stump They both then flew up into my wild cherry tree and then I saw a third woodpecker in the tree, who I can only assume was a youngster as it seemed to be taking food from one of the others. I’ve certainly never seen three in the garden at one time and it was lovely to see and let’s hope the little group thrives in the local area.

There are still plenty of starlings around and about in other gardens and flying to and fro but activity at my feeders has been slightly less during the very hot weather of the past few days, but as I sit writing this a few youngsters have come onto the suet balls and peanuts and there is at least one adult there as well. I’ve seen both the male and female blackbirds hopping about on the lawn in recent days and this morning after a wet night with a very welcome inch, 25 mm, of rainfall they were obviously finding a lot of slugs and worms. The female blackbird was sitting on the fence with a beak full of the same and the male was hopping about on the grass. The male blackbird was also sitting in the gutter outside a window yesterday evening with a beak full of something or other.

The feral pigeons have still been coming, although on the very hot days they disappear from mid- morning until fairly late in the afternoon and then of course normally will stay until at least 7 pm or a bit later. I’ve also seen a couple of collared doves, a couple of wood pigeons and two or three jackdaws early and late in the day. The crow has also been coming on most days and strutting around the lawn as they do, taking bits of meat if I put that out, taking some food from the bird table and then using the birdbath saucer. A magpie has been coming as well and has even been sitting in the tray underneath my main seed feeder taking whatever is on offer there.

The robins are still hopping about and when the feeders are quiet will come either for mealworms or other food, but I’ve yet to see any youngsters. One of the robins had dishevelled feathers on its chest when I saw it late last week, was coming to feed and then returning, so I assume it has been sitting on eggs in the nest. There are a lot of sparrows and dunnocks around and I imagine some of them are now probably youngsters that have fledged from my neighbour’s roof space. I’ve seen a blue tit on a couple of occasions coming to the suet log but generally the various tits seem to have left the garden.

Yesterday I saw a small blue butterfly in the garden and the bees have been enjoying various flowers in the garden from the roses, to the hollyhocks, to the honeysuckle and from an unknown purple flower in the garden, so they are obviously quite content. A squirrel has been feeding from the peanut feeder some evenings but there has been no sign of the fox by me this week.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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