Bird Feeding Blog Mon, 17 Jan 2022 00:00:00 GMT en hourly 1 It was here before! Thurs, 13 Jan 2022 00:00:00 GMT Haith's Community Over the Christmas period as I mentioned in a recent blog, I was putting out extra food in the garden that was scraps of chicken, sausage meat and so on leftover from Christmas meals. Over the Christmas period as I mentioned in a recent blog, I was putting out extra food in the garden that was scraps of chicken, sausage meat and so on leftover from Christmas meals.<br/>I generally threw this onto the lawn away from the bird table and other feeders so that the smaller birds could continue to feed, while the larger birds such as the crows or the magpies, could come down and take the extras. It&rsquo;s been noticeable in the last few days when I haven&rsquo;t had any such scraps, that the crows have come down strutting about on the lawn in the same area where they had been feeding, as much to say &ldquo;It was here before!&ldquo;. They then tend to come over for suet pellets but they will still have some treats from time to time as I sometimes throw some suet pellets into that area of the lawn.<br /> <br /> The feral pigeons seem to have cottoned on to the fact that there are mealworms and sometimes soft bill food in the tray at the feeder, although usually the starlings will get there first and so I don&rsquo;t think they find very much. I think the starlings themselves have been playing let&rsquo;s cram the birdfeeder tray as there were probably in excess of 10 swinging about in the tray of the feeder the other day and over 20 on the roof and local TV aerials. I have seen the blackbirds again during the past week and also a couple of collared doves who are coming for some food early and late in the day. I think they are probably also saying &ldquo;It was here before!&rdquo;, as my seed feeder had become blocked after recent rainfall. They were pecking in one of the ports, then going round the other side of the feeder and pecking there.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="winter blue tit" src="" /></div> <br /> I&rsquo;ve also seen great tits and blue tits coming and going, dashing from one bush to another en route to or returning from the feeder or suet square. I have seen some sparrows hopping about in the holly bushes on the brighter days but they don&rsquo;t seem to be coming to the feeder as much at the moment. I mentioned the crows but there have also been some jackdaw visitors coming to the bird table and the suet balls and at least one magpie. One day a few gulls even were trying to land in the garden, although I don&rsquo;t think they have a good enough landing zone to do it that often, but one or two managed to swoop down onto the lawn.<br /> <br /> Finally, I mustn&rsquo;t of course forget the other small birds such as the robins who have been coming for mealworms and the other wildlife in the garden which has included at least three squirrels. They have been chasing one another round the garden, burying peanuts in all sorts of places and generally startling the birds away when they&rsquo;re running up the dead tree stump to the peanut feeder.<br /> <br /> Written by Margaret Emerson 0 New year and more birds Tues, 11 Jan 2022 00:00:00 GMT Haith's Community Firstly, a Happy New Year to all who read my bird blogs. Firstly, a Happy New Year to all who read my bird blogs.<br/>I think the birds have been spoilt over the Christmas and New Year period with plenty of extra treats on offer, varying from stuffing from my Christmas chicken to leftover scraps of meat, ham and sausage meat. They&rsquo;ve also enjoyed some pastry in addition to their normal food of suet balls and squares, peanuts and seed mixtures of various sorts.<br /> <br /> At the moment bird activity in the garden is brisk and there are least two male black birds and a female regularly coming to the garden now for food. The robin and the immature robins can be seen most days hopping about in the garden and coming down to have mealworms or their special food. It was very nice on Christmas Day to see a robin sitting on a branch in my cobnut tree as much to say, &lsquo;It&rsquo;s my time of year.&rsquo;<br /> <br /> A couple of collared doves are also regularly coming to the garden again and either feeding at the bird table, when it&rsquo;s not otherwise occupied, or, sitting in the seed feeder tray and helping themselves from the feeder or the food in the tray. Sometimes that can bring a comical moment when they land on the tray and there&rsquo;s a big group of starlings already feeding there with the feeder then swinging around. There are still a good number of starlings coming, anything towards a couple of dozen, swooping down for the mealworms as soon as they&rsquo;ve been put outside.<br /> <br /> Over the last couple of weeks, I have seen the sparrow hawk on a few occasions with the associated scramble of the other birds to safety. There were a couple of days where I hardly saw any birds at all, but I think that was caused by a visit of the sparrow hawk but also a fox who appeared to be in the garden during the daytime on one occasion.<br /> <br /> The regular group of feral pigeons are still visiting and there appears to be another addition to the predominantly white birds, the latest one being largely white but with a black area on its back and wings and a splodge on its chest, so it almost looks as if it is wearing a cape and bow tie. It&rsquo;s nice to see the regulars coming for the food as two of them disappeared for several days and I was concerned that they perhaps were no more. I imagine there was a lot of food about.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="crow" src="" /></div> <br /> I mentioned the extra food scraps which were on offer over the Christmas period and two crows and at least one magpie have been taking full advantage. My picture shows one of the crow visitors. When putting the food out, the extras as it were are scattered in a separate area of the garden so that all different types of birds have a chance to feed on something. The magpie actually seems quite shy and darts down amongst the pigeons and grabs some food and hops off.<br /> <br /> My robin rooster box and my small bird nesting box have been mounted in the garden and it will be interesting to see if any birds have found them to use over the coming weeks.<br /> <br /> Written by Margaret Emerson 0 Hawk eyes Fri, 17 Dec 2021 00:00:00 GMT Haith's Community I haven’t had any hawks in the garden as far as I know although possibly a sparrow hawk has been on a couple of occasions recently, as the birds all scramble and disappear for a couple of hours if they have sighted one. I haven’t had any hawks in the garden as far as I know although possibly a sparrow hawk has been on a couple of occasions recently, as the birds all scramble and disappear for a couple of hours if they have sighted one.<br/>They&rsquo;re also not too keen on the seagulls flying over either and when they see them or possibly even the crows, a lot of the birds will vanish from the garden. But my title hawk eyes concerns the fact that the birds are definitely doing a look out for food going out into the garden. I&rsquo;ve mentioned before that the pigeons will start to come down onto the lawn when they see me go outside and that the starlings will be starting to gather on the television aerial or on my roof and will soon appear from around and about once I am back inside. I think the crows and magpies must also be on the lookout for food as this morning for instance, I put out a few scraps of meat on the lawn, filled up the feeders and put out some peanuts and the magpie was soon helping itself to the meat. Similar things have happened with the crows on other occasions.<br /> <br /> Food consumption has continued to be brisk during the past week, despite the fact that for the last few days it has been mild. I have two suet squares out in the garden, normally one of them will need replacing daily, and the suet fat ball scheme I&rsquo;ve put in place, only putting three in the feeder rather than five, does seem to have deterred the three squirrels from taking them away. They have been active, chasing one another round the garden and burying more peanuts. The blackbirds have been hopping about in the garden and I have late in the day been scattering a few mealworms and some beggars banquet seed mixture on the ground when most of the other birds have disappeared for the day. The blackbirds will still be there as will the robin, until quite late and possibly there will be a late visit from a magpie or one or two crows. This past week I&rsquo;ve not seen any sightings of the greater spotted woodpecker or the wren, but there are certainly plenty of starlings around, feral pigeons, a couple of collared doves and also a couple of wood pigeons, who continue to eat the berries from the holly bushes.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="winter robin" src="" /></div> <br /> I think part of my conservatory now resembles a bird food merchant storage area as I have got various boxes and bags of seed, suet and peanuts and so forth stored there, because if I put them in the garage a mouse will help itself and if I put it in the shed it&rsquo;s rather muddy to go and get supplies if the weather turns. The conservatory isn&rsquo;t warm enough to sit in at this time of year anyway as it faces north to north-east and so it doesn&rsquo;t really matter. The birds come first!<br /> <br /> I&rsquo;ve been thinking about where to put my robin roosting box and also the small bird nesting box, given that it has to be a metre and a half above ground level. I think I have found a spot for one of them and they&rsquo;re not that many cats in the neighbourhood, nothing against them mind you as I have house cat myself, and very few come through my garden these days. If I put one or other of the boxes at the top of the fence post near to a bush it should be okay.<br /> <br /> The bee and insect hotel has been put out in the garden at the end of a mixed border, at the top of a fence post near to where there will be flowers next year and also where there is some shelter from a holly bush to keep the rain and wind from it. I&rsquo;ll wait to see if anybody takes up residence and report back of course in a future blog and the same with the roosting boxes.<br /> <br /> Written by Margaret Emerson 0 Paddling around in the water and mud Fri, 10 Dec 2021 00:00:00 GMT Haith's Community The past week has brought some strong winds again and further heavy rain to Kent but despite that, the birds in the garden have been enjoying the birdbath saucers. The past week has brought some strong winds again and further heavy rain to Kent but despite that, the birds in the garden have been enjoying the birdbath saucers.<br/>The starlings and feral pigeons have been bathing aplenty but I guess they are getting muddy feathers. It&rsquo;s amazing how tiny bird feet running around on the lawn under my feeders and bird table have managed to create a mud bath. The area near the bird table now resembles the goal mouth of a football pitch with the grass worn away. It also means it is muddy for me too when I put food out.<br /> <br /> In the past week I have seen the welcome return of another bird visitor, a greater spotted woodpecker. I&rsquo;ve hardly seen one since the late spring and if I&rsquo;m looking out the window at the right time, I see it feeding on the suet square. The starlings seem to keep back when it lands although at the moment it&rsquo;s only paying a fairly short visit.<br /> <br /> The starlings are still coming en masse and diving down for the mealworms which are being consumed rapidly, although occasionally they are joined by a feral pigeon sitting in the food tray saucer. Squabbling and commotion usually ensues and the starlings are certainly not to be outdone by the arrival of any pigeons.<br /> <br /> Food consumption has increased but I thought that my suet balls were going down rather rapidly, although I was blaming the jackdaws and magpies for pecking away at them and consuming them quickly. However, I spotted a one of the squirrel visitors taking a fat ball and running across the garden and presumably burying it somewhere. I don&rsquo;t mind them having food but what I&rsquo;m tending to do now is just put two or three suet balls at a time in the feeder, so hopefully they can&rsquo;t reach down inside and take one. They have certainly been enjoying the peanuts and continue to bury them in various places in the garden as well as sitting by the feeder eating them. There were three of them again in the garden the other day.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="blackbird" src="" /></div> <br /> The robins are coming to the garden more frequently again now and I continue to see at least one adult and one immature robin hopping about and coming for food when the feeders and bird table are more quiet. Still at least one magpie is coming early in the morning and late in the day and probably also one or two crows on most occasions. The blackbirds are hopping about and more in evidence and so I think it really is a sign that winter is starting to arrive.<br /> <br /> Although a lot of my time at the moment is spent indoors with Christmas preparations such as writing cards and so forth, I&rsquo;m going to have to make time and perhaps this weekend when it looks as if it&rsquo;s going to be less cold might be good, to find a home for my robin roosting box and small bird nest box which duly arrived this week.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Buy Bird Food" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Written by Margaret Emerson 0 The decline of common bird species Thurs, 09 Dec 2021 00:00:00 GMT Angela Since 1980 the UK and Europe have seen large scale population declines in around 600 million breeding birds, according to a new study by scientists from the RSPB, BirdLife International and the Czech Society for Ornithology. Since 1980 the UK and Europe have seen large scale population declines in around 600 million breeding birds, according to a new study by scientists from the RSPB, BirdLife International and the Czech Society for Ornithology.<br/>&quot;Large scale population declines&quot; makes for a worrying headline. It would seem that a high percentage of these declines have seen decreases in common and abundant species such as <a href="">house sparrow</a>, yellow wagtail, <a href="">starling</a>, skylark, willow warbler, serin, linnet and <a href="">tree sparrow</a>. Declining wildlife species isn&#39;t, of course, new news. However, we hope this study triggers an audible alarm around Whitehall. It should be a wake-up call for government ministers to prevent further biodiversity loss in Britain and avoid the &quot;Silent Spring&quot; American biologist Rachel Carson wrote about in 1962. According to the study, society needs to tackle the climate crisis and the nature crisis by farming with nature in mind, protecting more species and using sustainable forestry and fisheries.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="starlings" src="" /></div> <br /> Haith&#39;s say it&#39;s not just the farming community that needs to operate in a more friendly to nature way, and that&#39;s why we&#39;ve been handing back commercial space to nature for several years - inviting nature to share our space. We see no reason why other businesses cannot commit to improving the biodiversity of their commercial space and - while they&#39;re at it - take a long hard look at their sustainability pledges too. That said, we&#39;re not pointing fingers; we (Haith&#39;s) have to make it our priority to keep putting nature first.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="sparrows" src="" /></div> <br /> NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) are doing their best to help some of the most vulnerable birds that are already endangered, but this help often doesn&rsquo;t seem to apply to the population of so-called plentiful species. We need to act now before they, too, make the endangered list.<br /> <br /> <strong>What can we do?</strong><br /> <br /> There are lots we can do - whether your garden is big or small we can help nature if we work together.<br /> <br /> From hanging out a <a href="">bird feeder</a> with the all-time favourite <a href="">Sunflower Hearts</a> to a half coconut filled with seed rich suet these will help your local garden birds along to a healthy spring.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Premium Peanuts" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <a href="">Peanuts</a> are one of the most beneficial and easiest ways to feed birds. They are highly attractive to wild birds due to their high oil and calorie content. Our <a href="">peanuts</a> are chosen for their quality, colour, and variety &ndash; we do know how to pick the perfect peanut!<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Original Wild Bird Food" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Unfortunately, the <a href="">House Sparrow</a> seems to have the largest population decline. Garden bird feeding is highly important for this species, and although they will take household scraps, both <a href="">Haith&rsquo;s Original Wild Bird Food</a> and <a href="">Premium Wild Bird Food</a> will provide a nutritious and healthy diet.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Premium Wild Bird Food" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Nature certainly does seem to be sounding the alarm that it needs us and that&rsquo;s where we can help. Call our friendly team today and we can help you choose that perfect <a href="">hand-crafted bird seed mix</a> for your garden birds, and together let&rsquo;s help all birds stay off the endangered list.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Buy Bird Food" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> &nbsp; 0 A job to keep up Thurs, 09 Dec 2021 00:00:00 GMT Haith's Community The past week has brought some very cold weather and also Storm Arwen. The past week has brought some very cold weather and also Storm Arwen.<br/>The birds seem to cope very well with the blustery conditions which in Kent weren&rsquo;t as bad as in some areas across the country. Landing conditions were certainly a bit tricky for the birds and the feral pigeons were huddling together on the sheltered side of my roof.<br /> <br /> At least two squirrels are still coming to the garden most days and eating the <a href="">peanuts</a> and burying some of them in my vegetable plot. Perhaps they think I need to grow peanuts next year. They launch themselves at the dead tree where I hang many of my feeders, which is quite comical in itself, especially when the second one arrives and runs up the trunk and wants the other one to move out of the way. The birds who have gathered usually disappear.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Premium Peanuts" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Food consumption has certainly increased due to the cold weather although the last couple of days have been milder again with the chill returning today. I&rsquo;ve had a job to keep up with replenishing the feeders and suet squares, either early in the morning, around midday or late in the day ready for the next day of feeding. The meal worms have been going down very quickly which makes it difficult for me to assess how much I need to order for the next couple of months.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="starlings" src="" /></div> <br /> The <a href="">peanuts</a> are also going down rapidly both as a result of the squirrels but also the feral pigeons and jackdaws. I now have three or four pigeons who know how to flip the lid on the feeder and help themselves to the peanuts. Often I find that one pigeon will flip the lid open and another will take the opportunity to sit beside it and also help itself via the easy route.<br /> <br /> The wood pigeon and I think there has been a second one on occasions, has now stripped almost all the yellow berries from one holly and has made a start on the traditional red holly. I&rsquo;m hoping that if we do have some cold weather later in the winter that they will have left enough for any red wings or other birds that come looking for food.<br /> <br /> One sighting a couple of days ago, which is a bird I&rsquo;ve not seen for several months in the garden, was a little <a href="">wren</a> hopping about on the patio nearest the house and then off into the flowerbed.<br /> <br /> At least one magpie has been coming most days usually early on in the morning and if I look out the window at the right time, I&rsquo;ll see the crows. They are still doing the routine of coming early in the morning and then possibly towards dusk. Other larger birds include the jackdaws as I have already mentioned, who were coming several times a day when it was cold. I make sure in the afternoon that when most of the birds such as the feral pigeons and the starlings have left for the day, I put out some extra mealworms and seed scattered about for the blackbirds or the robins. Even with the cold weather there has still been plenty of bathing going on and several starlings had a bath this morning and then sat in my cobnut to dry off in the sunshine and they star in my photo this time.<br /> <br /> Yet again this week there&rsquo;s been no sign of a fox in the garden and no sign of insect activity that I have spotted.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Buy Bird Food" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Written by Margaret Emerson 0