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Old 23rd December 2012, 10:10 AM   #11
70007
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Fatballs are consumed very quickly here. I find they are very expensive from most garden centres, so have searched on Ebay for the cheapest bulk buys.

I found boxes of 50 fat balls available, probably not top quality but the birds seem to love them - so I am not complaining.

Even the goldcrest and blackcap have been seen pecking away at them in quieter periods when the starlings are elsewhere.
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Old 27th December 2012, 08:43 PM   #12
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Fatballs are consumed very quickly here. I find they are very expensive from most garden centres, so have searched on Ebay for the cheapest bulk buys.

I found boxes of 50 fat balls available, probably not top quality but the birds seem to love them - so I am not complaining.

Even the goldcrest and blackcap have been seen pecking away at them in quieter periods when the starlings are elsewhere.
I find that the birds like the plain fat balls, and not the ones with extra flavours in them.

Even birds turn their bills up at times - so they are not all that easily pleased

Regards
Kathy
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Old 29th December 2012, 12:57 PM   #13
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Just got back from Christmas away on the Isle of Wight, to find bottom end of garden virtually awash, and top end so muddy that I couldn't reach the nearest feeders before I had put down a few flattened cardboard boxes to act as stepping-stones! If I am not careful, they can slide over the mud almost like a snowboard! Even wellies not much good if they bring in half the garden with them! Getting the usual birds (goldfinches, starlings, tits and a few blackbirds), and the tits in particular are more numerous than usual. I have fat balls, peanuts and kibbled sunflower hearts out at present, and just one feeder with Hi-Energy seed, as I couldn't reach the other two. Have just got a new pack of Less Mess sunflower seed as well.

Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas, and best wishes for a happy and birdful New Year to all!
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Old 29th December 2012, 01:36 PM   #14
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Just got back from Christmas away on the Isle of Wight, to find bottom end of garden virtually awash, and top end so muddy that I couldn't reach the nearest feeders before I had put down a few flattened cardboard boxes to act as stepping-stones! If I am not careful, they can slide over the mud almost like a snowboard! Even wellies not much good if they bring in half the garden with them! Getting the usual birds (goldfinches, starlings, tits and a few blackbirds), and the tits in particular are more numerous than usual. I have fat balls, peanuts and kibbled sunflower hearts out at present, and just one feeder with Hi-Energy seed, as I couldn't reach the other two. Have just got a new pack of Less Mess sunflower seed as well.

Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas, and best wishes for a happy and birdful New Year to all!
Oh Jandy....

The rain has been very persistant to say the least. We have had 2 days of it at the moment, and it has never let up for any time at all.

I am sure you will find a way of reaching your 'unfilled' feeders one way or another. Hope the water in your garden recedes soon.

OH and I had a great Xmas, and chilled out it was too. The New Year celebrations will be just as chilled out with some nice champers, and each other.

Happy New 2013 to you, and let it be filled with lots of birds too!

Regards
Kathy
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Old 31st December 2012, 08:52 AM   #15
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Yes, Happy 2013 to everyone who reads this.

My garden is rather waterlogged, and I make a mess of the grass every time that I walk across it, but I take the view that grass is a very hardy plant and when the warmer weather arrives, it will soon grow again.

I have been committing a bird feeder 'sin', which is putting out whole peanuts in a tray with an adjustable plastic 'roof'. I have lowered it to about an inch above the tray, so that only tits can be bothered getting in, and they each take a peanut to consume in the trees.

They seem to put the nut between their feet and peck at it. It is a very popular source of food for them, so that while they like it I will keep putting out the whole nuts.

Sorry if this goes against all bird feeding advice, but blue tits are only feeding young for about two weeks in every year, so I do not let that worry me in winter.
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Old 31st December 2012, 10:02 AM   #16
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There is too much countryside for the finches here. I saw a flock of chaffinches in the lane yesterdaty but at the moment there seems to be too much food for them to bother looking on the other side of my next door neighbour's leylandii. The long tailed tits love the fat bars as do my resident pair of blackbirds and, unfortunately, the tree rat.
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Old 31st December 2012, 01:19 PM   #17
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Fortunately, squirrels are not too much of a problem here. I have seen one being pecked by a magpie that was determined to get rid of this furry competitor at the bird feeder.

Maybe that is why they are not too regular visitors.

I have been trying to think up of a convenient way to construct a squirrel proof bird table that would allow me to add nuts and seeds loose, but keep the food dry and free from unwanted guests.

Unfortunately, without access to a friendly blacksmith, or simple welding equipment, I dont think that I am going to be successful.

My idea would be to have a metal dome with small metal bars hanging vertically downwards from the dome circumference, spaced at about 25-30mm all the way round, and attached to a circular wire mesh tray about 25mm deep.

The bars would allow small birds access, but keep out everything else. The dome would keep things relatively dry, and the wire mesh would allow rain blown in by strong winds to drip away.

I have not seen anything like this for sale, and I suspect that it would be expensive, although a plastic version would be an alternative.
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Old 8th January 2013, 03:38 PM   #18
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I feed mainly sunflower hearts and have had quite a selection of visitors to the garden. Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Sparrows, Nuthatch and also a pair of Bullfinch. I really enjoy looking out in a morning and seeing what is going on.
I also have quite a few birds roosting in my nest boxes.
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Old 26th March 2013, 01:58 PM   #19
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Winter seems to be back again. A suprise today was a pied wagtail using the starling feeder (bad photo here). That caused a double take, you just don't expect to see wagtails in places like that.
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Old 24th April 2013, 03:14 PM   #20
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My New Years Eve post above mentions keeping squirrels off my bird feeders.

I have decided to approach this problem from a different angle.

I noted someone said that small mammals are very sensitive to strong smells. I thought about a sticky substance that I could use, but there is nothing obvious, so I wondered if I could make my own.

After a little experimentation, I decided that something which I could paint on the pole feeder would be worth a try. So I have finally concocted my own mixture of used engine oil (although new oil is just as good, but more expensive) and a jar of Jamaican hot pepper sauce from the supermarket.

I poured some oil into one of those plastic trays that mushroom and other veg are sold in, and added about a third of the jar of pepper sauce, mixed it around a bit and painted it all around the pole up to around four feet from the ground.

It seems to have worked because the squirrel arrived, got almost to the pole and then did a double take, sniffing around everything, but did not climb it.

I realise that this may not last, and rain will wash off my handiwork, but I can soon mix some more and repaint it, so I will see how it goes.
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