It has to be said that the past seven days have been fairly routine as far as the birds in the garden are concerned.
Generally the biggest number of birds will be first thing in the morning and then again in early afternoon, with just a few left for the latter part of the day. The starlings are still enthusiastically eating the mealworms and I’ve now also got a bag of calci worms to see whether they also like those. They might attract other bird visitors too in the colder weather. The other day there were three starlings sitting on the TV aerial just as I went out with the food, but within a couple of minutes there were probably a dozen or more either in the feeder tray, they can sit about six birds at once, or up in the tree waiting their turn, which as you can probably understand with starlings, means there’s quite a bit of pushing and shoving going on.
The pigeons have been around in plenty but again numbers generally decrease through the afternoon with the biggest group there early morning. They have been vying for a place on the feeders with the squirrels and I still have two or three squirrels coming at once most days to feed on the peanuts. The jackdaws are coming in ones and twos but the other day there were eight of them sitting up on my roof having a good cackle with one another.
Early in the morning I’m still seeing one or two crows and probably one or two magpies most days coming for some early food and they may return later in the day. Blackbirds are more in evidence again and a wood pigeon has been helping itself to the yellow berries on one of my holly bushes. Last year the wood pigeons and blackbirds didn’t touch them and had the traditional red ones, leaving plenty for the redwings when they arrived, so I’m hoping they will still be something left if they decide to visit me again this winter. My picture this week shows the wood pigeon perched up in the holly bush, if you look closely. It hasn’t been particularly cold of course so far this autumn but something a little more seasonal is likely next week and so I may well see a bigger influx of birds again. One bird which has not been seen for probably over a year or more by me is a jay, who landed I think to try and find some peanuts down on the ground. I used to have at least two of them coming to the garden so if they are returning that would be good too.
Although some trees have almost completely shed their leaves many of them are showing the richest of autumn colours and in the sunshine that we’ve enjoyed here in Kent in the last few days, it is quite a sight. I’ve mentioned the squirrels but I haven’t actually seen a fox this week and I haven’t been aware of any insects in the garden either, as I guess it’s getting a bit late in the year. With thoughts now turning to Christmas and shopping, I will have to make sure that I have plenty of supplies of mealworms, peanuts, suet and seed for the birds to take them over the Festive period and into the start of next year. It’s hard to know how much to get of each thing as consumption of suet balls and squares and so on varies from week to week and with the weather of course.
Written by Margaret Emerson