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garden visitors at last!


I’d been despairing of ever having visitors to my bird feeders, though I’d had the occasional lawn-browser.

Last week the gardener took the feeder station apart so that I could scrub it – for some idiot reason, the food tray won’t detach from the pole with a screw like the water dish and feeder hangers: the only way to get it off is to take the top off the pole and move the tray up and off. it didn’t want to move, but he got it off eventually, and I scrubbed it all.

he put it together this week and placed it, bit shaky, I had to use another metal pole to brace it. filled the feeders and water dish and put both suet pellets and mealworms in the food tray. and lo! within half an hour there were several visitors. didn’t have my camera with me, of course, so moved slowly in to the house and back so I wouldn’t disturb them too much.

These pics are all heavily cropped from the originals – even on full zoom I could barely see what I was aiming at – they’re a bit shaky cos of camera shake: my stupid camera does a “find focus” if you half-press the release, and when you try to take a pic three times and each time it just “finds the focus” you tend to get irritated and press the release a bit more firmly than needed!

I’ve no idea what these birds are – they don’t seem to be arguing about sharing/

managed to get a few in flight, purely by accident!

checked later, the mealworms went very quickly, but the suet pellets didn’t seem to be diminished at all. they were all gone next morning, so something likes them – or at least is prepared to eat them when there’s nothing better about!

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The greyish brown ones are the babies , I know what you mean Snoop but they are great at eating the leatherjackets on the lawn!

I don't tend to feed in the summer, I want them to eat the pests :0)

But come the winter I start again, here the popular food is the fst blocks (only the beige colour they ignore the pink) and fst balls but not the hsrd dry ones, I bought a bag of them snd hsd to break them up on to the food tray, poor birds couldn't get their beaks in!
I get my supplies from my local pet shop

24 Jun, 2014


Yes, Starlings (they are the darker speckled ones) with their fledglings. They love meal worm as its similar to their natural food of grubs.
Snoopdog, their not really greed, more opportunists, they have to be to survive. Also, did you know they are one of our threatened species? Keep feeding them Fran. :)

24 Jun, 2014


So pleased you are getting some birds coming to your feeders Fran. Another hanging flat feeder somewhat larger would be a help Fran for the starlings, as your flat feeder is so small. They quarrel and fight so much over food. Then the tits finches and sparrows ,if any will have a less rowdy area to feed in. They all feed in slightly different ways too. I am pleased your garden man is being so helpful....that is a real boon for you to get sorted in your new place.

24 Jun, 2014


Thanks Snoop and Pam and Waddy and Dorjac.

I did wonder about starlings, knew they were a bit speckly, but what I know about birds could be written in inch-high letters on the back of a postcard and still leave room for the address!

I've got a hanging square feeder, and have tried fat balls in that and one of the other round feeders with wide mesh, but they didn't get much attnetion; maybe they were stale.

yesterday I tried moving my chair a couple of yards closer and sat with my camera at the ready - typically, not a sausage!

24 Jun, 2014


Charity shop bird book when you get the chance Fran, RSPB are good but Aldi had some with really clear pictures last week

24 Jun, 2014


These will just be the start, Fran, word will get round that food is available and they will all come flocking! Lovely, I have several starlings that come right to the back door and ask for food and then away they fly with it to feed their babes. I found the RSPB website a real help when trying to identify birds and GoY has a bird sister site too.

24 Jun, 2014


I thought they would come once the babies were big enough to fly. Try a peanut feeder as well and you might get bluetits.

24 Jun, 2014


thanks @ Pam, it's the words I have most trouble with, but large clear pics are very useful too.

thanks @ Gee. They've almost finished the tubs of suet pellets and mealworms, I'll have to buy bigger packs next time. I keep forgetting tn sister bird site, though I've got the link in with my GoY ones.

thanks @ Stera. there is a nut feeder, but on a spike a bit aside - I really need another feeder pole to get all the feesers on without them being too much in the way. it's a bit nearer the ground where it is, that migt be putting them off - or, of course, I might just not be seeing them.

Today i put out a mix of mealworms, suet pellets, seeds and nuts into the food tray, will check later to see how it went, and what went most.

24 Jun, 2014


If you build it, they will come. I'm glad you've finally got some feathered visitors Fran. As has been said already, word will soon get around.
For the first time this year I've been learning the calls of the fledglings. I'm quite pleased with myself.
Can I say that putting nuts out whole in a tray feeder is not recommended because the adults will feed them to the young and they can choke. I usually bash a handful up with a rolling pin.

24 Jun, 2014


That's great,Fran,I am so pleased you have the birds coming to visit now..It's such a busy time for them just now,and it will really help .I agree with Scottish about the nuts,if they are whole,but ok in a mesh feeder,so they can peck at them..You will get so much pleasure watching their antics :o)

24 Jun, 2014


Once one lot of birds start to arrive you'll soon have lots more following Fran, you have some great pics there Fran...

24 Jun, 2014


A fella on spring watch had a tame starling, it was very perky and active, it found hidden bits that it liked and seemed very intelligent and inquisitive. Another warm lovely day here today. Bit of rain last evening but not enough to wet a gnat. A magpie landed on the crook supporting the RSPB table just now, slid down the chain, but flunked landing on the table. Ingenious though.

25 Jun, 2014


thanks @Scottish - lol it's a bit "off" for me to moan that they're not taking advantage of something they didn't ask for in the first place!
I think there are nests in the trees at the back of the fence, judging by the chittering that's coming from there - long way from learning them, but maybe learning to recognise what they are.
Thanks for the "nut note" I won't do it again

thanks @ Bloomer; I'd not noticed much activity at the mesh nut feeder, but the level goes down, so something obviously likes them.

thanks @ Lincs - there's been several the last couple of days, but thought I'd taken enough pics for now! just need to keep the supply up - once they get used to it being there, not fair to not put it out.

thanks @ Dorjac. I've not wanted to get too close; I did try moving a couple of yards closer but that seemed to be too much all at once, so will try moving closer by stages. the idea is for them to come and for me to see, not to get close-up pics!

25 Jun, 2014


We're having some lovely weather this week, we did get a drop of rain yesterday, but didn't last long so I'm having fun at the moment trying to get the Red Kites, they are coming really low whilst its warm but I'm never prepared enough to get the closeup shots, really need the tripod out for some good ones and be willing to sit and wait, not got the patience for that I'm afraid, lol....I do like to watch them soaring over though and its good to watch the other birds reactions, can get quite noisy at times...

25 Jun, 2014


Kites, wow ... I have a desktop tripod for this camera, but not much use in the garden unless i can get a table to stand it on - and even so, if the camera's on bu not used for a couple of minutes, it goes into "standby" which means i have to switch it off and then switch it on again, so there goes the "instant" pic ... been thinking about setting up a webcam focused on the feeder, then I can monitor it from in here!

27 Jun, 2014


Wow Fran, you don't do things by halves...

27 Jun, 2014


lol Stera, at least I don't dream by halves, doing something about it is a different matter

28 Jun, 2014


You've got to have a dream - if you don't have a dream...How you gonna have a dream come true?
(Are you old enough to remember South Pacific??)

29 Jun, 2014


at least to rememebr that song! lol yes, I used to play "spot-Sean-Connery" in the "Nothing like a Dame" number - apparently he's in the back row not wearing a cap, but I was never able to find him - videos didn't freeze in those days, they jumped all over the place!

29 Jun, 2014

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