Jackdaws love Haith's Fat Balls


In recent blogs I have mentioned that the jackdaws seem to have returned now we’ve moved into autumn and three are regular visitors at various times of the day at the bird table.
Certainly the consumption of suet balls has increased, as their big beaks have been pecking away enthusiastically at them in preference to most of the other food. A trio of crows is also coming, usually first thing in the morning and I have read that birds which have large eyes tend to arrive soonest in the day and leave latest, when it is perhaps not so light. They are certainly ahead of the feral pigeons and come to the suet and have a hop about on the lawn before flying off.

I also mentioned in a recent blog that I had not seen the greater spotted woodpeckers after their regular visits back in the spring and early part of the summer. I’m very pleased to report that I saw one the other day round the far side of my cobnut, hammering away at one of the branches and so I think they are still coming but perhaps are not as visible or active on the feeders.

The starlings have certainly worked out how to use the suet square feeder hanging in the cobnut and they seem to enjoy swinging around on it when they have landed. It has deterred the larger birds from landing there and as I have mentioned they are suet facilities elsewhere. Talking of larger birds, a sparrow hawk was sitting on my bird table the other day for several minutes and of course all the other birds had scrambled from the garden at that point. I don’t see them that often and I certainly don’t normally see them sitting for an extended period of time like that and so I was able to grab a picture from the window.

The feral pigeons have been around in number this week, although the biggest group is always first thing in the morning, with smaller groups arriving at lunchtime and later in the afternoon or just before dusk. Yesterday it was a lovely sunny autumn day and so several of them were enjoying their ablutions in the large bird bath saucer. A comical moment was when a starling ran across and two pigeons were bathing and it went to get a drink and appeared to think, ‘Okay, you are in there, I’ll go to the other saucer instead’.

I have not seen as much insect activity in the garden this week probably because it’s either been wet, windy or not particularly warm. There are still plenty of flowers for them to feed on and I did see some hoverflies yesterday on the wildflowers. The squirrel has been busy coming to have some peanuts usually in the latter part of the afternoon and the other evening I did see the fox coming through the garden.

Written by Margaret Emerson.

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