Woodpecker

Plenty of hungry birds in the garden to feed

Over the past week I've found it hard to keep up with the amount of food that the birds are eating as the population seems to have increased dramatically. I have seen the greater spotted woodpecker on numerous occasions in the last seven days, generally on the feeders at the side of the garden but occasionally, when the other birds have disappeared, it will come over to the bird table area and feeders and my picture this week shows it doing just that. 

The adult starlings are coming with their youngsters in large numbers, around 20 young birds at a time as they are hard to count, but unfortunately another youngster struck a window this week and was killed. The younger birds seem to be generally self-sufficient now,  but the parents are keeping a close eye and are still feeding one or two of them. They have learned to use the suet squares and where to sit to be able to land on them and have also worked out that if they sit underneath the suet squares, they will probably get some of it dropping to the floor, particularly when a larger bird is eating there such as a jackdaw. 

My Platinum Jubilee flags didn't seem to disturb the sparrows too much, although they are probably pleased they've now been removed, as their flight path from the front garden to the back garden went past them.

As well as the starlings and some young sparrows, I've had many sightings of the magpie, the pair of crows, the two wood pigeons and pair of collared doves and a group of at least four jackdaws. The male and female blackbirds are around and of course at this time of the year feeding quite late in the day, but I have as yet to see any youngsters. 

The amount of food being consumed is certainly high as I mentioned at the start and the birds are managing to get through two or three suet squares a day. With warmer days though the suet quite does become quite soft, but when you've got large beaks pecking at them, it is no wonder that they don't last very long. The birds seem to be favouring them over the suet balls at the moment, but the crows go for the suet balls, probably as they find it too tricky to land on a square. 

The squirrel is still coming for some peanuts but not as much as it had been but there have been no sightings of the fox. There have been some dull days and some wetter ones, but in the sunshine there have certainly been plenty of bees of various sorts on the flowers, but I've not seen any butterflies recently.

 Written by Margaret Emerson

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