Saturday, 7 February 2015

Upgraded bird feeding station

Having recently got my hands on a trail cam  I wondered about revamping the bird food offer for this reason, and to try and get some more birds in the garden.

I had the bird table wired up to stop wood pigeons stripping it blind, and found that small birds were a little lost when using the trail cam so I stopped filling it and relied on the two hanging feeders.

I decided to investigate a pole mounted setup and purchased an all in one set and had a blowout on food for it, some of the regular things we have but also some new stuff too.

As well as the included feeders we also bought a fat mix wooden tower as well because we sometimes get greater spotted woodpeckers in the surrounding trees and we have one eye on trying to get them in.

We purchased an off the shelf fat block to start things off. This one has insects in with goldcrests listed and as we get them in the trees we thought it worth a try. We removed a slice to fill the wooden holder and also pushed some into the roof, along with mealworms to see if it had any takers. The birds I'm looking to add to our meagre feeding list are goldcrest, thrush, pheasant, wren, greater spotted woodpecker, long tailed tit and jay which have all been seen in the garden but failed to feed. Add to this goldfinch, chaffinch and greenfinch which have fed but not done so recently.

This is Sticky the Stick Thing, man of sycamore by the way.

The before and after. The new main feeder has peanuts, fat blocks, general table food, sunflowers, water and nyger seed. Although you can't see it, I wired up the bird table to prevent wood pigeons getting on a stripping it blind. 

The old feeder is now at the top of our garden with the hope of attracting goldcrests to the left hand site food block (which it states it should). Blue tits have also made early moves on it, and the table food feeder is actually next to a branch and various birds have perched to take advantage. I decided against hanging fatballs off the made for purpose hooks because the nets they are in can entangle legs, and I've not actually found that they generated much interest. It was pressed into service as a fruit hook as and when I have a soft apple in the veg basket.

Maybe the cold snap we are in has focused minds but I was expecting visits to take a while as it is a new set up that birds won't be used to. Well this blackbird was on the case almost as I turned to go inside, filling it's boots on the general food and then managing to grab itself a large piece of bird cake.

I think this squirrel is considering building a dray in our garden as it is running off with pieces of weed suppression sheeting on a regular basis. It has also made itself at home and has been particularly interested in the apple mounted on the fat ball hooks and hung off the centre of the pole. As you can see, wood pigeons can get on by balancing precariously on the water bowl to get a controlled feed. They also benefit from ground eating due to the increased traffic flicking goodies earthward. At the time of posting this page we'd had nine different bird species on the feeders, I can now make that ten because we have just had a female blackcap in the garden which wasn't even on my to see bucket list.

Queuing up!
The only downside is that we get a lot of sparrowhawks in the area so we may have just upgraded their drive thru experience! We also get a lot of buzzard and red kite traffic upgraded Steve is the next project...

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