Just before we began the 30 Days Wild challenge I decided the garden could do with a bird table. Birdsong filled the hedgerows and skies around the farm, but nothing ever seemed to come into the garden.
Luckily we had a load of timber lying about, ready for ‘upcycling’. F was quite enthuasistic about our ‘project’, and we got a little bit carried away with our creation .What I had envisaged as a neat little perch ended up as a rather large banqueting table. Go big or go home, I guess!
It turned out to work in our advantage , as the table can attract larger birds. A pair of punctual collared doves now frequent the table on a daily basis. We also have a blackbird that likes to snack on leftover apples and pears.
The table started to look a bit lonely, so in a bid to entice smaller wild birds we spent the 6th day of our Wild challenge putting up feeders in some of the trees around the garden. C enjoyed filling them with Nyger seed and wild bird mix. We also put out some mealworms and soaked raisins.
C really enjoyed this simple activity. In fact, she enjoyed it a bit too much. ‘Please don’t eat the mealworm, your not a baby bird’ is not a sentence I thought I’d ever have to utter.
It didn’t take long for the birds to arrive.So far the feeders have gone down well with the smaller birds. We have seen chaffinches, Great tits, ChifChaff, and a Robin. There is also a Dunnock which comes to feast on the spillage.
I always thought feeding of wild birds should be done in Winter months only. The RSPB does advise feeding year round.Natural food sources can become scarce at anytime especially with odd weather patterns.
However it is important to be selective with what we offer on tables and feeders. During the Spring and Summer months it is important to avoid putting out foods that could pose a choking risk if parent birds take them back to feed chicks.
Potential hazards include:
- loose peanuts
- dry, hard foods
- big chunks of bread
Good foodstuffs include:
- Black sunflower seeds
- Soaked sultanas
- Grated cheese
- good seed mixtures without loose peanuts,
- Soft pear/apple pieces.
Feeder choice is also important, follow the RSPB advice. Bottom line is to avoid mesh feeders that could result in birds becoming entangled.
We are really enjoying watching the sagas of wild bird life that are unfolding around the feeders on a daily basis. There is something special about getting to know the birds that keep coming back. My favourite is the cheeky robin which keeps perching closer. Today it landed on my laundry, but had the good sense to leave without any mess!