29 Dec 2010

Feeding the Birds with My New Applefeeder and Some New Garden Ticks

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I feed the birds in my garden all year round. I have a peanut feeder,which attracts mainly Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Starling, Greenfinch, House Sparrow and Long-tailed Tits.
Long-tailed Tits at Peanut Feeder

A Nyjer feeder which mainly attracts Goldfinches, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll and a window feeder which I put sunflower hearts into which attracts Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Blackbirds and occasionally Lesser Redpoll.
Lesser Redpoll at Nyjer Feeder

Earlier in the year I was in a friend's garden and saw his success at pulling in birds by putting apples out on the ground, particularly the thrush family. So I decided I would make a hanging applefeeder and see how it would fare. I used an old coathanger and fed the apples onto it as well as making a few perches. In the first few days there didn't seem to be that much interest. Then little by little I saw more and more birds using it. My first real surprise was a male Blackcap. It visited for three days in a row but hasn't been back since. Bluetits use it a fair amount and Blackbirds are the most popular user with Starling coming a close second. So all in all a success. Apart from my unwelcome visitor see below.
Blackbird and Blackcap on Applefeeder
Starling on Applefeeder
Bluetit on Applefeeder
Rat and Applefeeder
 With the recent cold weather and snow cover I have been putting wildbird food out on the ground as well. I use Jollyes Wildbird Food (£8.69/ 13kg) which is similar to the RSPB Table Bird seed Mix  for which they charge (£16.99/12.75Kg) Thats a staggering £8.63 more expensive per bag!!!!
I also have been putting feed out on the shoreline in front of my house during the really cold spell for this I use the Jollyes Budgerigar No 2 seed. This was the seed that used to be put out in front of the Belfast Harbour Reserve Hide to attract the Godwit and Duck on the reserve. Putting this feed out in front of the house attracted Teal, Wigeon and some Mallard and on one afternoon I had 70+ Black-tailed Godwit as well, which would be the largest amount I have seen here.

This cold weather has attracted five new species of bird into the garden the first was this Mistle Thrush. I have also had up to four Brambling and two Tree Sparrows and this very bossy Fieldfare. However my most exciting garden tick was on last friday morning as I was getting up I noticed a large shadow in a patch of grass which I had cleared of the snow on my lawn. I switched on the outside light and walked outside to witness a Long-eared Owl taking off. I assume that with all my ground feeding it was attracting rodents and the owl had been attracted by them. They breed within a few miles of the house so not together all that surprised.

Mistle Thrush

Brambling in Snow

Tree Sparrow



Timothy Belmont said...

What way did you make the apple feeder, Craig? I'd like to try it.

Connie Kogler said...

That is a totally fabulous idea! I'm going to give it a try here in Colorado, USA. I'm thinking the squirrels will like it too much, so I'm going to hang mine.

Peregrine's Bird Blog said...


I got an old coat hanger unravelled the top and then snipped off the opp end to the hanger where it is curly. I then found a bamboo and drilled holes in to it. Then you thread apples onto wire interspersed by bamboo. Then bend up the last couple of inches to right angles Hey presto.

Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

Thanks Connie

Timothy Belmont said...

I've installed my new feeder with apples and await feathered customers!

I imagine it takes awhile for them to catch on?

siobhan said...

Definitely going to try your apple feeder idea - it looks great. you're lucky getting a Brambling in your garden.

sarala said...

I love the feeder but I'd be afraid of encouraging rats around my house. I am in a very urban environment and rats have been a problem at the feeder next door.