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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11800

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 20 8:20 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Certainly some robins will do that. We have had fights between blackbirds if their territory joins in our garden and we only put food one side, but afraid we are rather rare birdwatchers and not systematic about things.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6690
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 20 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
mine will tap on the window if a feeder is empty.


The audacity.

Another great shot DPack.

All we get is sparrows, blackbirds and the occasional blue tit. Is there anything I can do to encourage other species? We have nuts and fat balls out.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37368
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 20 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

my basic feed mix is

1kg mixed seeds(wheat,sunflower, chipped maize, millet etc)
100gm dried mealworms
300gm shelled sunflower seeds

peanuts in the nut feeder

i feed in feeders but also ground feed the mix(some will perch others stand to feed as do the sammisons)

my main bird attracting feature is 20ft of bramble hedge(as seen on photos) it also has rootstocks in pots and a variety of "weeds"over the course of a year.
i prune it for fruit but also for cover against cats and avians(see grin) and as a rich invertebrate habitat.
the base of the hedge has a variety of nooks and crannies as well as a worm rich soil.(a bucket of soil would provide a pretty decent sized worm burger)

if you want jackdaws, hoodies, crows etc raw meat is popular as is coffee cake(but they will keep you awake all night )

if you can get a rich and diverse set of invertebrates established it does bring in the bug munchers like wrens and thrushes as well as sparrows feeding young on fresh caterpillars etc.

the other direction of approach is to create homes for things, nest boxes, dense thickets and thick ivy etc on walls are good for nest sites.

safety, food and housing are the best baits.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37368
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 20 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

the sparrow with a feather in its beak looked very like the dancing one, at a guess it is nest lining time ready for first clutch laying soon.
maybe fledglings by april.

the local colony, one of several that feed here, are down to under 10 individuals if i counted all of them and none were lurking.
they have maybe lost a third over the last couple of months.
some will have moved on and found mates elsewhere, but they have been evened out by new ones arriving.

i get the impression there are more each year but that might be cos i pay more attention and feed them in view rather than on the shed roof

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11800

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 20 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would say habitat is of major importance. We don't feed on a regular basis, but get a moderate variety of birds. Rooks and magpies pull bits off our birch trees for nest, but the rooks only if they are nesting in the nearby pylon. We have wrens and pigeons in the ivy on the wall and in the evergreens nearby. We quite often see long tailed tits, and always seem to have at least 2 resident robins, as well as odd visitors, and plenty of tits here and there. One robin landed on the doorstep yesterday when I went inside to get something I had forgotten, so I took the hint and put out some food on the coal bunker, its usual feeding station.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6690
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 20 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for that DPack, I'll try mixing it up a little. I did contemplate building a table to attach to my bird feeder but then I don't want the pigeons there. Is that mean?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37368
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 20 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i rather like the fat wood pigeons, a flock of them or the a city's worth of urban sort might be a bit much.
i have resorted to urban avian infestation protocols in the past
washing on the line is one thing , clothes in a wardrobe is another as was eating all my plants on the roof garden. ummm. the cat enjoyed them.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11800

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 20 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am not happy when they score a direct hit on washing on the line, particularly if they have been eating something like blackberry or ivy which stains. We get flocks of wood pigeons in the woods, and they make a tremendous row when they take off.

Had a cheeky squirrel walk along the bedroom windowsill yesterday morning. Hoping it was just a quick visit, as we could do without them in the garden.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6865
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 20 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think they wait until we put the washing out and do a strafing run

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37368
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 20 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    


re the squizzer , cheeky on a sill is one thing , in the roof void is another.

if they consider the outside theirs they will look for entry points.

ex FIL was plagued by em and not even full brig gen shouty scaryness and firearms got rid of them for long.
it was funny to witness, big chap half through a loft hatch shouting military obscenities at a squizzer he just missed with an unsuitable weapon, perfect. purdey in an attic makes one's ears ring both ways
a few did get shot and holes were filled regularly but the misses were ace fun

they would find a suitable corner and wiggle tiles loose to get in or gnaw through the soffit and facias

Shane



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 3185
Location: Doha. Is hot.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 20 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
they would find a suitable corner and wiggle tiles loose to get in or gnaw through the soffit and facias

Yep - they are buggers for that. Much better in a stew than in the attic.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11800

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 20 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I thought I heard something in the roof the other night, but haven't heard anything since. Just have to keep an eye and ear open and deal accordingly. As far as firearms are concerned, we have a couple of air rifles, but a good shot with an air rifle will do for a squirrel. We had a good shot from our bedroom window at a bird feeder we used as a lure, but the creeper has ruined it now.

I would certainly consider using the back legs in a stew, but the rest isn't much good.

Shane



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 3185
Location: Doha. Is hot.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 20 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That was my tactic, too - hanging feeder on a wire from the apple tree in the garden and a headshot from the upstairs window with the lawn as a backstop. .177 air rifle was more than up to the job.

I used to put the whole thing in a stew. Except the liver - squirrel livers are horribly bitter, for some reason. Rest of the offal is very tasty, though.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11800

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 20 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The main reason for saying just the back legs was because there isn't much meat on the rest of it. You would get some extra of course, but a lot more bones. Thanks for the tip about the liver, I didn't know that.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37368
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 20 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a squizzer liver in the gravy is a once only experience, it might be that they have very powerful bile production and there is enough in the liver to taint a stew even if you tidily remove the gall bladder. always remove the gall bladder before you start checking for flukes, cysts etc.

i tend to avoid livers unless they are known to be nice and/or safe and then i check them very well.

for instance hare is ok afaik but bunny can be toxic in small amounts(if they have been eating toxic, to us, plants in bulk) and always have too much of something to be safe as a feast or as an everyday dinner


tasty but oops

if it tastes horrible it often is, the nice but nasty require knowledge.

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