The next RSPB bird counting weekend is coming up soon. But in response to aggresive behaviour from the local hoodies I haven’t had feeders out since last spring. However I think I’ve found away to get some food to the wee birds, and so far the big ones haven’t scuppered the plans.
For years we’ve hung assorted feeders on a laburnum tree in front of the house. From the sitting room we can often see a variety of finches and tits busy nibbling away. And we get occasional visits from others, sometimes unidentified. But the hooligan hoodies put an end to it, continuously removing said feeders from tree, to smash them on the path and devour spilled contents.
I might have stumbled on a solution, and there may be birds to count in a couple of weeks.
Rather than hanging traditional feeders I’ve got an open plate-type feeder on the same laburnum tree. It is held on with a cable tie. The birds love it and the hoodies ignore it, so far. There are a lot of sparrows enjoying their meal served on a plate, and a good few chaffies too.
But the tits are elsewhere. For in the back garden there is a patch of dogwood, bare and bright red at this time of year. In it sits a robin. I thought I’d put some food nearby for said little creature.
So on a long disused clothes-pole, standing alone, rusting, in a gusty spot, there is another feeder, and more cable-ties. And round the prongs of the clothes-pole hangs one of those chains, with alternate fat balls and pockets of nuts. And that’s where the tits are. A second robin has come to play too, sitting in the dogwood, ignoring the chickens.
The dogwood is now alive with tits, blue and great, feeding, chasing and generally enjoying themselves. The numbers are far greater than ever used to take their turn at the laburnum. And they’ve got the clothes-pole without competition from chaffinches. So we’ve much to entertain us. Even the woodpecker seems to like it round there. And the robin feeds at both spots.
And on the laburnum tree there are far more sparrows than ever appeared when the chaffies and the tits were squabbling about feeding rights. I can hear them now, chirping away, enjoying some rare sunshine. It might get interesting when the greenfinches and the goldfinches find their way back.
It’s looking good for the Big Garden Birdwatch, but I better go and buy some more seed, for it doesn’t last long, no matter where it goes. I might even manage the odd photo or two. Now if I were to get some nuts back on the laburnum, who would turn up where, I wonder?