Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Un-scientific observations of my feeders

A few very un-scientific, un-empirical observations on my garden feeders nr Jumble Hole this winter. Feeders are peanuts, nyjer seed, mixed seed, and various fat balls, coconuts filled with fat etc.

- great spotted woodpecker: both m&f visit more or less every hour, whatever the weather. Hard to tell if it's the same two birds or not, although one was seen flying off the feeders, over the valley and lost sight of almost a mile away. Prefers the square shaped suet block.

- nuthatch: despite being very regular in recent years, and as numerous as ever in the woodland around (and often in the garden) I haven't had one single visit on the feeders this winter. There must be ample food about elsewhere.

- siskin: very regular flyover, but only one feeder visit from a female earlier in the winter. Also never had a redpoll on feeders, despite being around in the woods.

- goldfinch: stupidly, I didn't bother putting nyjer seed out until about a month ago, as there didn't seem to be goldfinches about. The day after I put the seed out, they arrived, and have been a more or less permanent fixture since

- greenfinch: a worrying one this. One of the commonest birds on the feeders in previous years, I saw my first a week ago. Been back twice since then, but that's it. Could be related to the virus that's being written about?

- chaffinch: common

- long tailed tits: due to the weather being relatively mild, I've seen less of these too. Also, they come in 2's and 3's, rather than 16-20 like in harder winters.

- great tits, blue tits and coal tits all regular, in descending order.

- likewise dunnock, robin and blackbird.

- goldcrest and treecreeper have both come in once
with tit flocks, and searched for insects around the feeders

(spot the gs woodpecker)


Jeff said...

I live in the Cross Stone area of Tod and had similar visitors until I put a feeder out with hulled sunflower seeds in. I now have to refill it every other day, Redpoll, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch all started coming and prefer them no niger seed. The woodpeckers had a go as well but I think the shape of the feeder puts them off. The tits love them as well and the Robin has mastered balancing on the arms of the feeder to get them. I'd never seen Repoll before, one of the males has a silver ring, they certainly stand their ground for such a small bird.
Over the weekend I also discovered that flax seed doesn't go down well, total lack of interest.

Jeff Cox said...

Good info Matt, doesn't need to be methodical/scientific to be useful. Redpolls came onto my feeders for sunflower hearts mainly, nyjer seed second in the ranking I reckon. Haven't seen a Redpoll since I left Calderdale :) Must get out more.