Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Wild birds and nut nets
It's time to feed the birds again this winter. I don't feed them during the summer months as living in the depths of the country as we do, there is plenty to keep them fed and watered whilst they are raising their broods. I also read that they try and feed bits of peanuts to their babies and they can choke on it, so at the end of March, the nut nets come down.
Now that autumn has been stripping the leaves from the trees and any overwintering insect with an ounce of common sense has disappeared into the woodwork, the birds are having to work harder to keep body and soul together. I have just bought a 20kg sack of peanuts and filled the two nut nets in the smallest apple tree. When mum was alive, these nut nets were outside her window, and she spent hours watching the birds come to feed - nuthatches, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, sparrows, woodpeckers - and unfortunately, the sparrowhawk coming to feed on the visitors . . . One swoop from across the stream and another bird became a meal for the sparrowhawk.
Up in the smallest apple tree he can't get them as there is more cover and he doesn't have a direct line of flight to swoop in and out again as there are other trees and hedgerows in the way. However, what keeps them safe from the sparrowhawk also provides cover for any of our eight cats, and Fluff (seen here sat in the tree within half an hour of me filling the feeders) soon decided to try her luck!
Fortunately she came down when I rattled some biscuits . . .