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Attracting birds to my garden

Discussion in 'Personal' started by 60sunnysmile, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Most garden birds won't eat those things.

    Ducks love peas though.
  2. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    My technique is to have lots of feeders right outside the house hanging down from a verandah. As others have said, the birds will get close to the back of the house if there are several staging posts of cover from the trees at the back of the garden. They flit from deep cover, zigzagging from one tree to another and then appear right outside the patio window. My favourite is an infrequent visitor, a nuthatch. Not bad for an urban garden.
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  3. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    I’d love to see a nuthatch in my garden. I’ve seen them on YouTube bird videos and I’m watching daily. I was really pleased on Friday when for the first time I saw a male bull finch stop by to inspect the garden. It only stayed a few minutes and did not eat anything but I’m hoping it will come back again.
    smoothnewt likes this.
  4. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I see the occasional robin or starling but between the cats, the squirrels and most of all the crows and magpies, there are only cawing monsters with big pecky beaks round here. I have tried supplying food only accessible to smaller birds but I think the corvids eat the eggs and fledglings of the smaller birds. The fact that many of the gardens have been paved over for parking and the abundance of food waste for corvids from student rubbish is also a factor. As the student population with their strange inability to understand a simple three-bin system has declined, I've noticed we no longer have foxes either.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    My Dad's garden in Scarborough is regularly visited by Bullfinches and Greenfinches.

    I'm lucky if I get a few sparrows or a chaffinch.
  6. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    We were waiting for a train at Lewisham station recently, which is never a pleasant experience as the environment is built up and noisy - endless police sirens. We were amazed to hear a little gang of goldfinches singing in a tree near the platform. Miraculous! But why they’d choose to live there was beyond me.
  7. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    In our old garden we would regularly get greenfinches and chaffinches. We now live only a few streets away, about a third of a mile, but get neither. My husband reckons greenfinches are currently in decline, sadly.
    We do get a wider variety of t.its here though: blue, great, coal and long-tailed. And goldfinches. And we support a local population of 30+ noisy sparrows. And we have robins - plus one with a gammy leg that lives in the front garden so s/he gets special rations.
  8. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I was awoken from my slumbers this morning by my goldfinch alarm clock who sits on a branch outside the house but close to an air vent in the bedroom wall. Its melodious call is beautiful.
    Mangleworzle likes this.
  9. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Jamvic likes this.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Goldfinch numbers have boomed in recent years. There are some who live near us although they have never yet actually been in my garden.
  11. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Are you sure? Maybe they lie low, wait for you to go inside - and then swoop!;)

    I'm surprised @Duke of York hasn't posted on this yet...:)
  12. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    One thing that I was told and transformed my wildlife was the concept of what does a bird see when it flies over? It sees water for sure and so the presence of reflective water really helps with the first stage. Everyone has covered feeders, but plants and trees which attract bugs attract birds. I've had great success with Echinops (a kind of globe thistle) which have a fug of bugs over them constantly as well as being covered in aphids. The birds see it like MacDonalds! The other thing the birds love are the two plum trees I put in. They eat the buds, the eat the aphids, the ladybirds, the caterpillars and they eat the plums!
  13. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    I started putting out Niger seeds which didn’t get touched for a few months but now the number of goldfinch has grown so there are often loads of them so I now have three Niger seed feeders which are constantly full of goldfinches

    We get sparrows, blue ****, great ****, wood pigeons, magpies,crows...occasionally jays, woodpeckers and parakeets...and mobs of starlings if any fat or suet is put out .... squirrels ( fair play to them - they amuse me)

    Also the cats have been bringing in live newts - usually we just pick them up and put them back outside but a couple of times, I’ve set up an emergency newt hospital to keep them in overnight to monitor them and released them at dusk the following day once I can see they aren’t injured.

    The cats have not as yet bought in a bird - I wonder if the newts survive as they play dead and the cats aren’t interested in them once they realise the newts are no fun.

    we also get toads and teeny, tiny frogs...so cute !
    caress likes this.
  14. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    We have a few gold finches who regularly come to the feeders but occasionally we get up to 30 of them in one go and they make quite a lot of noise. My partner said is sounds like an avery. I saw a gold finch in the area about 4 years ago and put out Niger seeds but they never came into the garden. Then the following year I ditched the Niger seed and just has one feeder with sunflower seeds. A few started to come into the garden very occasionally. But the the following year more came and now they are regular visitors. Then a few weeks ago, after putting out food and water more regularly, a few green finches and also chaffinches arrived and are also regular visitors now.
    But although I enjoy having all the birds in the garden, I’ve had 3 dead birds in 2 weeks. As they were below the window I suspect they flew into the window. Very sad as I am trying to save them during the winter, not kill them.
    Last winter I saw a Fairfield in the neighbourhood and I’m hoping I’ll see more this winter. It was eating the berries on plants that grow on the estate but I don’t have any in my garden. I’ll be planting a few plants with winter berries this spring.
  15. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    I went to South Wales at the weekend to visit in-laws and it was great to see Red Kites flying above the M25 and the M4 at regular intervals all the way from Saint Albans to Newport.
    But my in laws asked me if I'd seen a Kestrel and I hadn't. Has the successful re-introduction of the Kites meant the elimination of the Kestrels as there used to be loads of them to be seen along the Motorway?
  16. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    Yes. My neighbours cat had one in its jaws a few weeks ago.:(
  17. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

  18. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    I’ve got two robins that definitely see me as soon as I pop my head out of the conservatory door every morning. They are there staring at me from the bird station or the little fence practically asking me for a meal worm re-fill. They are always the earliest birds to arrive and usually return 2-3 times during the day for seconds. thirds & fourths.

    Another attraction for some birds, including robins, are woodlice. Leave a chunk/stump of cut down tree or piece of rotting wood/dead leaves in a sheltered spot and birds will come to feed off the wood lice & other insects. Keep it damp during dry spells in summer. They’re very good for the soil too.
    MrMedia and smoothnewt like this.
  19. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    I just did their ‘which garden bird are you’ quiz and I’m a robin. So pleased as I know that although they are considered cute they are actually pretty tough and independent. One of the first birds to start the dawn chorus and one of the last to stop singing at night defending what’s theirs lol. That’s me! One of my favourite human & garden friendly birds.

  20. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Birds regularly turn over the top of our compost heap looking for treats. Does usually contain a lot of woodlice whenever I have dug into it with my hands to see whats there.
    Jamvic likes this.

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