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Help and suggestions for Attracting Birds Needed

 
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RowanWolf



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Location: Norfolk

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:57 am    Post subject: Help and suggestions for Attracting Birds Needed Reply with quote

Hi everyone Smile

I'd like to learn more about attracting birds to my garden. In the old house I never had to consider this too much as we had so many visitors, birds and other wildlife alike but in this house the garden is a small walled garden on an estate and we seem to get few birds and ones we do get are usually starlings and pigeons.

We do have a robin that has been around for quite some time (and a resident toad and hedgehog).

We battle to keep cats out of the garden and have been slowly winning this war over the years.

Currently I have only one feed station and am planning on another in a different location.
I'm putting out wildbird seed mix, wildbird peanuts, suet balls and suet cake with berries at the moment. I also put out a little hanging box stuffed with hay/straw at some times in the year and that seems to be taken.

I'd love to see more of robins and any other birds I can. It has been years since we saw anything like blue tits, chaffinch or the like and would like to learn how to attract all these birds and make the garden more bird friendly.

Any advice on this would be gratefully received Smile

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Kit



Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 2547
Location: Nottingham

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd definitely say put out sunflower hearts, Wolfie, as they're the food most small birds seem to prefer by far. I've tried putting out seed mixes, but the little b*ggers just ate the sunflower hearts and chucked the rest on the ground!

Now I put out straight sunflower hearts, plus peanuts in a wire mesh feeder. I also put out suet pellets for the blackbirds, robin and starlings (they're rationed because they're expensive, but putting them out very early in the morning means that the robin and blackbirds get a chance to take some before the starling squadron descends and scoffs the lot!)

Placement of feeding stations and cover is also important. If you can put your station underneath a tree or close to a tall shrub it will mean that the birds have somewhere they can retreat to quickly if a predator appears. When I first moved into this house I initially put my feeding station away from cover, in a place that was convenient for me, but found the birds were quite reluctant to use it. As soon as I moved it to underneath my neighbour's overhanging tree, they began using it.

I get mostly goldfinches and sparrows, with blue and great tits popping down to grab a seed every now and again, the occasional chaffinch and greenfinch, and blackbirds, robins (my favourites), starlings, woodpigeons and collared doves. I've also seen wrens, long tailed tits, and the odd blackcap and goldcrest (although I can't claim these are regular visitors!)

As well as suet pellets, starlings like those flat fat-blocks that you put in a wire cage. Seeing them devouring it can encourage other birds, such a long tailed tits and great spotted woodpeckers, to use it. Birds always follow each other around, so attracting common ones in the first instance can help bring in others.

Hope that helps good luck!

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RowanWolf



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Location: Norfolk

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Smile
I'll get some fat blocks and sunflower hearts soon.
We have no trees in our garden but I do have my current feeder next to the tallest shrub in my garden, near the back...and I have another tall bushy shrub the other side near the back.

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RowanWolf



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Location: Norfolk

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am waiting for my sunflower hearts to arrive. I've put up a second feed station with just a bit on it away from the first one, near the other tallest shrub in the corner.

Is there anything else feed or plant wise that I can be doing?

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Peter



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 772
Location: South-west England

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How big is your garden - is there room for more shrubs to add diversity? Log piles, piles of plan cuttings next to you compost heap (?) and rough grass are also worth adding with a small water feature.
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RowanWolf



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Location: Norfolk

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said it is only a small walled garden. I can fit in another shrub..most of it is lawn with shrub beds around the three walls at the edges of the lawn.
I've not got much room here.

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Kit



Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 2547
Location: Nottingham

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry too much about your lack of room, Wolfie my friend lives in a top-floor flat, and only has feeders attached to her windows to attract birds. She does really well, attracting robins, blue, great and coal tits, sparrows, starlings, collared doves, gold and greenfinches, nuthatches and the odd long-tailed tit. Once the feeders are established and the birds know there is a safe, regular food supply available, they'll start coming.

It's a quiet time of year at the moment known as the 'October gap' with lots of nuts, berries and fruit still available for wild birds, but they'll return in bigger numbers to gardens once the cold weather arrives and the wild fruit harvest starts to run out.

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RowanWolf



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Location: Norfolk

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll give it some time now and see what happens.
I can hear and see birds flying about out there but none come to my garden..I guess it is a waiting game now.

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Kit



Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 2547
Location: Nottingham

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My garden has been very quiet up until now but not this morning! At one stage there were 18 goldfinches, 15 sparrows, 20 starlings, a robin and two great tits, all trying to get on the feeders at the same time. The little robin was furiously trying to see the whole lot of them off of 'his' feeding station! After a couple of minutes they were all gone but they'll no doubt be back. It costs a fortune to feed them all at this time of year, but I don't mind, it's lovely to see them.

I hope you start seeing some better numbers soon. Once your new feeders are established and it does take a while I've no doubt you'll get a lot more customers. Fingers crossed

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RowanWolf



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Location: Norfolk

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had some visitors today Smile
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dazarooney



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 2

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RowanWolf wrote:
I had some visitors today Smile


Hope you've still been having visitors Rowan Smile

I'm going to follow the advice given in here, hopefully it helps me too!

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neo



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 24
Location: Lowestoft, Suffolk

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How's it going Rowan?
Many visitors since last post?
I'm new and trying to attract more.
So far a pair of blackbirds.
Fingers crossed more will come Very Happy

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