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Bird Activity in the Garden

Posted by sheiladearing on 16 Dec 2010 at 12:12 PM

As the freezing weather has rendered groundwork in the Fruit and Vegetable Garden almost impossible, Pete and I have been spending the cold mornings (and afternoons!), undertaking the yearly check of all the different bird boxes we have on site for signs of activity.

 The fruit and vegetable garden has been frozen during a prolonged cold spell

 Pete Earl checking one of the bird boxes on the edge of River Wood

It is a task that is usually carried out at around this time of the year, as the birds have long since finished nesting; this means the boxes should all be vacant, although we occasionally come across a confused Dormouse who has curled up in the wrong box or some hibernating bats…

 SOME OF THE VARIOUS THINGS WE HAVE FOUND IN THE NEST BOXES

 Dormouse nest

 Wasp Nest

 A tit nest of moss and grass

We have various different types of bird boxes across the site; around half of the boxes are designed for the various different types of tit found in the garden – these boxes have a small round hole that allows the tit in but prevents larger birds (although woodpeckers and other larger birds will sometimes peck around the hole to make it bigger to enable a raid).

We also have open boxes designed for Robins, boxes for Tree Creepers, luxury Sparrow hotels and Swallow cups.

When we check on the boxes we are recording which ones have been used; we store this data so we can get a rough idea of whether bird activity has increased or not over the past year. In the last few years, the amount of activity has been relatively consistent with around a third of the boxes used.


Although the birds are not currently nesting, there is still plenty of activity in the garden, although at this time of year they need a little bit of help with regards to food! We are currently putting out extra seed in feeders at various locations within the garden, as well as plenty of fruit that has gone past its best for human consumption, in order to compensate for their natural food sources which are short supply in these wintery conditions. Hopefully, when the spring and summer arrives, they will repay our kindness by eating all the pests in the gardens!

 Blue tit feeding in the garden

James Brennan, Horticultural Trainee

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on 22 Dec 2010 at 07:36 PM

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on 22 Dec 2010 at 07:36 PM