Sunday, 5 September 2010

Wild Birds

Despite having bird-catching cats, we have bird feeders in our garden.   We stopped having feeders for a while, but the cats would still occasionally come back with a bird.  

We had a large sack of peanuts and a large sack of wild bird feed left, and we kept looking at options of where we could put feeders that would be out of the cats' reach.  We couldn't find anywhere.

In the end, we bought a feeder pole, and stuck it in the centre of a small bed in middle of the garden, where it was reasonably well used.  We didn't get an increase in bird shaped presents.

Then Jasmine died suddenly, and we wondered if the cause was the mound of discarded bird seed under the bird pole.  We fenced it off.  Eventually, we flattened the bed and turfed it, and DH moved the feedpole to the bed in front of the kitchen - just for somewhere to put it temporarily.

To my amazement, despite being so close to the house, it became extraordinarily popular with the local birds.  We think the close proximity to the shelter of our cherry tree helped.     The feeders became a bit gruesome after a while, and I got fed up cleaning them.     I was out browsing at a garden centre a few weeks ago, and I came across feeders by a company called Chapel Wood.   They were modular - so you bought the squirrel-proof outer (choice of 3 sizes), and then fitted in your choice of feeder (nuts, seeds, nijer seeds).   All came apart at the touch of a button for easy cleaning.  There is also something at the bottom which helps prevent that build up of soggy, stale food. I bought one to try, and it was really good.

A little while later I saw rthem online, and in a sale,  so I bought two more, so that I now had all 3.     It's been incredible.  So many little birds. Right now, there are 12 assorted tits and finches all over them.      

I rarely make impulse purchases (I go away and think about it for a few days and see if I still want whatever-it-was).  This was an impulse purchase that I haven't regretted.

I do feel a bit mean for the bigger birds (like the thrushes and blackbirds) that I would love to be able to  feed as well.  Trouble is, if we have a feeder they can use then it gets hogged by this huge gang of starlings that live nearby,  or the parakeets (who hoil most of the stuff out onto the ground),  or the pigeons.

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