I moved house recently, so instead of having a window feeder like we had in the flat, I now I space for a proper bird feeding station! My parents bought us a bird feeding station and some squirrel buster bird feeders as a moving in present.
My boyfriend put up the feeding station a couple of days ago, and today I finally filled it up with seeds!
I put a mixture out because I’m not sure what birds we have in the area yet. I’ve seen two blue tits, a wren and a coal tit, as well as bigger birds like crows, magpies and pigeons. It’s the small birds that I get excited about. In the flat our regular visitor was Mr Chaffinch, sometimes accompanied by Mrs Chaffinch. He used to sit in the window feeder for ages, having a feast and then just letting the world go by.
In the feeders I have used (left to right):
- Suet sticks with meal worms
- Peanuts and fat ball
- Wild bird mix
- Sunflower hearts
- Finch seeds
And of course a dish of water. I can’t wait to see what visitors we get!
Day 27 – Watch a wild webcam
My webcam of choice was to watch the baby barn owls from the Blue House Farm nature reserve of Essex Wildlife Trust. (Image credited to them). The chicks are getting bigger and fluffier!
Day 28 – Garden Award Entry
I entered our balcony into the Surrey Wildlife Trust Garden Awards. It asks which features of food, water, shelter and management are available in your garden/nature area. If anything, check out the checklist to see how you can add features for wildlife.
Day 13 – Walk instead of Drive
I went out for dinner to a local restaurant and instead of a 5-10 minute drive, we walked instead. It took about 35 minutes and our walk took us past a farm with cows and sheep close by. Two cows were dining next to each other on some long grass. Two goldfinch flew out of a tree right in front of us and twittered as they landed on a fence and then flew into the distance. It was a pretty warm walk, but it was totally worth it.
Day 14 – Magpie Thief
Last year I wrote about a magpie stealing a pigeons egg, and another attacking a rat that had just climbed out of a drain. This year, I witnessed a magpie learning to land on our window seed-feeder. The magpie is so big compared to the feeder that is had to squat down in order to fit inside. The magpie was stealing seeds from the feeder, and purposely knocking many seeds out of the seed tray by swinging its beak side to side. Naughty magpie!
Day 15 – Watch the Sunset
A simple pleasure – watching a pretty sunset. I’ve been waiting all week for a good sunset, and today I finally got one. The clouds were pink as the sun went down, but the pinkness slowly faded to blue.
I have been researching into a wild trip. I want to see puffins and red squirrels, so I started looking into trips to see puffins. Last year my friend went to Skomer Island, off the coast of Wales, to take photos and it sounded awesome. I have been researching into the trip. It turns out the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales has the details.
Boat trips only run 3 times a days, and only 250 people are allowed on the island per day to protect the envirnoment and habitat for the wildlife. Different wildlife you can see (depending on the time of year you visit) are:
- Short-eared owls
This sounds awesome! I might have to wait until next year to go, as my summer is getting full, and the best time to see the puffins between April and July.
Day 7 – Bug Rescue
At lunch time at work there were a few bugs that decided to fly in the door of the canteen and join our table. First of all, a bumblebee flew in and was buzzing by the window. Next was a green shield bug, then a tiny green beetle that ended up sitting on the table in front of me. My colleague wanted to squish it so I was the bug’s personal body guard and kept it safe. Eventually all the bugs flew outside, but I was ready to rescue them.
Day 8 – Watched Spring Watch & Hedgehog Video
Today I came across this hedgehog video – that’s twice I’ve seen this behaviour on video now. It made me laugh. I also watched Spring Watch on BBC2. It was heart-warming to watch the baby swallows being so well fed by the adults, and the peregrines adopting another chick that wasn’t theirs. My favourite was the stoat that was so agile as it jumped over tall grass to move her kits to a cleaner nest.
Today’s nature task was totally unplanned. I had some time to kill, so I sat for half an hour and listened to the sound of the wind through the trees and the birds outside.
Since having our seed feeder out, I have learnt the sound of a Chaffinch calling. Mr Chaffinch is our most frequent visitor and I could hear him calling in the nearby trees. I can tell it’s a Mr Chaffinch by his bright colours. He then came to visit our feeder.
There was a Magpie about too – also a frequent sound I hear. But there was another couple of birds that I couldn’t identify, so I’ll have to research these sounds:
For Christmas I got my boyfriend a seed feeder to stick to the outside of our window. It has been up for four months, but yesterday was the first time we had a visitor to it. They have finally found it!
Within a minute of the great tit visiting, a jay landed on the window sill. It could see me through the window, and kept ducking down behind our clothes horse that was up. I tried to snap a picture but it flew off.
The great tit visited twice, and later on the jay tried the window sill again. We are super happy our seed shop finally has customers!
This year the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch was over the weekend of 28th – 30th January. I really enjoy taking part, counting the birds outside for an hour. It’s a great chance to catch up with my mum too!
This year I did two bird counts – one at my parents’ house and one at my flat. I did both with my mum which was lovely. Although, my parents’ garden had way more interesting birds visiting. I miss getting so many. But the results were not surprising – my parents have 8 bird feeders in their garden vs none in the garden of the flats.
The results were as follows *drum roll please*:
At the flat:
- 8 wood pigeons
- 1 carrion crow
- 1 great tit
- 2 squirrels (bonus guests)
- 1 rat (super bonus guest)
At my parents’ garden:
- 2 robins
- 4 blue tits
- 2 great tits
- 5 black birds
- 6 wood pigeons
- 4 goldfinches
- 2 bullfinches
- 2 dunnocks
- 1 sparrow
- 2 starlings
- 2 nuthatches