Here we are in early Autumn and I don’t seem to be able to keep up fast enough with the demand of my yard birds.
For anyone who isn’t a regular reader of these reviews, our urban yard is tiny (about the size of two garages) and basically a concrete pad but we have packed every corner of the yard with flowerpots and tubs, and torn up the concrete corners to plant pyrocanthus, cottoneasters and fatsias. we’ve even squeezed in the merest of meres, a pond stuffed with goldfish, sporting reeds and rushes that have been refuge to blue-tailed damselflies and migrant hawkers. We’ve managed to find room for a cherry and a fig, an olive and other bushes providing cover, nesting places or winter food. The walls and fences are smothered with honeysuckles and clematis, which has managed to con a passing blackcap or temporarily tempt a redwing or two. In high summer there are more hoverflies and bees to the square inch than almost anywhere I’ve ever been outside of the tropics. Our neighbours may have decked and paved, concreted and gravelled but we’ve put a quart of live things into this pint pot of land.
We have three lots of feeders including a pole that has five feeders, one hung from a neighbour’s bush and one tucked into the narrowest of corridors. We may lack space but what we have we share willingly with any bird that cares to show up.
A good while ago Jacobi Jayne – the company is headquartered only 15 miles from us – started to supply us with feed and feeders and continue to do so. It’s a while since we gave some feedback (sorry about the pun).
So back to the news for this Autumn!
The seed cakes are gone in a day, in fact the starlings gets so cross when they can’t find a seed cake that they tossed the cage on to the ground!
I take the feeders down every few weeks and clean off the uneaten food sometimes ‘caked on’ by the wet. Then they all go in my dishwasher – the boiling water brings them up well and kills of the viruses that can build up and endanger the birds.
They come into such heavy use and with the regular industrial washing their life is reduced and we do have to replace them periodically as the clear plastic does crack after a season or two.
The goldfinches sit in the tree twittering away whilst I fill the feeders and, as soon as I go away, they are straight onto the feeders!
It’s marvelous to go into the garden and see six goldfinches eating nyjer from the feeder. I am now able to go almost right up to them until they fly off, and the same go for the greenfinches they are not at all nervous and often sit tight when I am nearby. I’ve seen them sitting at the feeder for half an hour steadily eating or just looking around contentedly.
Bo said the other day that he watched one over a long period and swears he could see it getting fatter!
The husk-less seed is a real favourite with the other birds and again I can hardly keep up with their demands especially when the temperatures drop. I’ve never known the rush to come this early in the year and also the migration seems to be a couple of weeks early so demand rises as the local lads are swollen be incomers from Europe. One of the great things about the husk-less is that some birds that don’t normally touch seed, such as the dunnocks and roibins who will sit at the feeders and get the fat-rich hearts without having to worry off the seed shells.
I have put fat balls all around the yard too and the tits love them.
With the seed cakes attracting the starling hoards despite trying different flavours to give the other birds a chance, it’s the bully boys who demolish the ‘Apple Crumble’, ‘Blueberry Cake’, Bread and Butter pudding’ and all the rest. There is even a vegetarian high-energy seed cake that I could always feed Bo on!
The one food that doesn’t disappear quickly are traditional peanuts – I swear that the birds hold out for the husk-less mix!
Sorry – have to go – the feeders need filling again!
Maggie – wilfe of Fatbirder and bird feeder filler supremo!