Thursday, 19 July 2012

Feeding the Birds Again

These are a few photos taken through the kitchen window. My camera struggled to focus on the birds among so many leaves and the window is smeary from so much rain, but at least the sun was shining and the birds had a chance to dry their feathers.

I don`t usually feed the birds during the summer months, but this year`s weather has meant a decline in their natural food. The unseasonal cold and wet has made it a struggle for parent birds to feed their young. Last week I found four dead baby swallows under their nest in an outbuilding. They had not grown many feathers and were not yet ready to fledge. They had died in the cold and their parents had removed them from the nest, ready to start  a new brood before it is time to fly to Africa again.

The visitors to the bird feeders are mostly blue tits, great tits, coal tits and nut hatches.The nut hatches are nesting in a nearby oak tree and are beautiful, but they do bully the smaller birds. Greater spotted woodpeckers also visit but they are very wary and fly away at any sign of movement through the window.The fine mesh on the peanut holder will stop whole nuts being removed.

The bird table attracts a noisy gang of house sparrows, several blackbird families, wood pigeons, collared doves and little brown dunnocks who pick up fallen seed on the grass.

Below are some goldfinches, who love their niger seed feeder and bring their families along to empty the feeder in a day.

Some of the tits are growing adult feathers while their parents are in moult. Here are a few  of them waiting in the branches of the pear tree.

Blackbirds and bluetits love the halved apple in a suet feeder and will finish it in two or three days.

The cats have become accustomed to spending most of their time in the house, but they are allowed out to play just after dark, when the birds are safely in their nests. If they go out before they are fed, a few taps of the cat food tin will bring all four of them running to the back door for their supper.


Kath said...

what a shame about the swallows. My brother has them in his stables. He said when he viewed the property, the old owner opened the doors and they flew right out over his shoulder. Thats when he knew it was the property he was looking for.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Wish we had nuthatches DW - we have all the rest - in fact a marvellous selection of bird life. I feed them all through the summer too.

Down by the sea said...

Lovely seeing your bird feeders and birds. We haven't tried niger seed but I have heard it is popular!
I always find it difficult to encourage the birds and not put them in damage with the cat. Luckily she is more interested in mice!
Sarah x

BilboWaggins said...

What a lovely post. If only more cat owners were as responsible as you - sigh.

Sorry I have not been visiting recently. Too much going on here and not enough energy/hours in the day to fit everything in :{

Ragged Robin said...

Lovely to read about your garden birds and see the photos. I feed throughout the summer and sometimes seem to get more birds than in winter!

What a shame about the swallows - the rain and cold seems to be affecting so many nesting attempts in an adverse way.

You are very lucky to have a regular nuthatch - a species I've never seen in our garden.

Em Parkinson said...

I think your pictures are pretty impressive given they're through the window! You've reminded me I need to move our feeder from where I can't see it!

Crafty Green Poet said...

so sad about the swallows, but if the weather improves they should have plenty of time for a second brood, I've seen swallows feeding young in early September!

BilboWaggins said...

Sorry your cats are spending more time indoors but very glad to hear you're feeding the birds. I've seen fledglings this year which are obviously cold and wet and not looking happy at all.