Sunday, 14 August 2016

No thanks there then.

We feed the birds; in fact we have a very large feeding station and the farmer spends a fortune on different types of seeds and feeds all year.   We have nest boxes everywhere, most of which have now been colonised by house and tree sparrows and their breeding has been so successful this year that we are inundated with whole families waiting impatiently each morning to be fed.

Our hedges are full of blackbirds and they turn up too, mainly for the meal worms the farmer puts on the bird table itself, and for the various members of the tit family there are seeds and peanuts (also devoured by the woodpecker).   Special nyger seeds deal with the green finches and goldfinches - so they all get well fed.
And how do they thank us?   Well they don't. (apart from the fact that we enjoy watching them).

Outside our kitchen window is a magnificent rowan tree.   As usual this year it is - or rather was - covered in clusters of bright orange berries.

Up and down the lane are many self sown wild rowan trees and they too are covered in orange berries and will remain so until there is a hard spell of weather.  But we have hardly a berry left - the blackbirds have cleaned them up in the last fortnight - presumably because the tree is next to the feeding station they just use it as part of their daily feed.   Even more annoyingly, if they drop a berry on the floor they don't seem to have the sense to go down and pick it up, so it lies there until some little mouse comes along in the middle of the night and has it for pudding.

And so we resign ourselves to another year of a berryless tree.   But still, we do get pleasure from the birds who eat them so early.

24 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

You are so lucky to have breeding Tree Sparrows, they are becoming an increasing rare species here in the south and like the House Sparrow are now a bird of great concern as numbers continue to plummet. Here on Sheppey where I live however, the House Sparrow is far from endangered and I must of bred around 40 youngsters in my garden this year. The food of choice here and ate in great quantities from the bird feeders, are sunflower hearts.

Heather said...

My husband feeds the birds all year round too, and ours don't thank us either. No sooner have I finished a session of weeding leaving all edges neat and tidy, than the birds come down to scavenge and scratch along the borders throwing soil and debris everywhere. They do the same on the patio when I have just swept it, adding a load of droppings from the pergola where some of them roost. But we still love them.

thelma said...

I have been looking at the holly trees in the garden, absolutely full of green berries, which will be a good feed for the birds for winter. We have a squirrel who has just decimated the hazel tree of its 'green' nuts. No matter how much food is put out it all disappears, sparrows, chaffinches, tits and of course the lazy wood pigeons. Wish we could look after the bees as we look after our wild bird life.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

What happens when you and Mr Weaver go on holiday? Who feeds the birds then?

ArtPropelled said...

We love the birds and spend a fortune on seed too. At the moment we have a family of Purple Crested Loeries feeding on a big berry bush. The red berries last over three months so the Loeries visit every day. We are particularly delighted that the parents managed to raise two fledglings before the monkeys could destroy either the nest, the eggs or the fledglings.

https://za.pinterest.com/pin/18999629647716697/

Frances said...

Weaver, this post was a delight to read! Just yesterday, I was having my regular weekly phone call with one of my brothers and he was telling me about the birds who were visiting the bird feeders just outside his living room window. And...he said that after our call, he needed to go buy some more feed for the birds. One of the "regular" birds had just landed and impatiently departed after realizing his favorite seeds were all gone.

I also very much enjoyed your previous post. I've read many references to The Lady in books, usually as part of the books' plots about employment notices being posted or read by one of the characters. And yet, I've never actually seen a copy, and didn't realize it was still published. I will look for it the next time I am in the UK.

I do love lemon poppy seed cake, a sort of pound cake, but have never tasted caraway seed cake. Something else to search for! The names of the children's games were also unfamiliar and intriguing. Many thanks for the recollections. xo

Andie said...

We also feed the birds and my hubby gets the bird feed delivered via Amazon, honestly, they are better fed than us. We have all the usual small birds and rooks as we live next to a rookery. The good thing is that the large birds are wary of us so disappear in a flurry of wings when we venture out. We have a summer house and I put a string of bunting up last year, it is under the parapet so does well in bad weather. At least it did, as I have discovered that the small birds often use the bunting as a roosting perch (the poo gave them away). So I have brought it in and washed it and it is waiting to go up, I suspect they use it mainly in Winter when they are not nest building and fledging babies. Just as another reminder about times past, does anyone eat dripping any more? do you or the farmer? I can only buy it on Leeds market these days or when I have a large enough joint which is not often. I love it and do not believe it is bad for you, I think you would have to eat an awful lot to make it bad, and it has limits to how much you can eat. Hope you are feeling a lot better. Much love Andie xxx

The Weaver of Grass said...

Andie - now that is a blast from the past. We used to have toast and dripping, with lots of salt (!!) for tea sometimes in Winter and it was delicious. I needed some for a recipe the other week and found that our very good deli sells it in cartons -but it can't be good for you.

Frances - the adverts are still an important part of The Lady magazine and make fascinating reading.

YP _ My son and his wife look after things.

Art Propelled - All such unfamiliar names but they sound fascinating.

Derek - I think sparrows are rare in some places but certainly not here.

Frances said...

Not sure if the robins that I feed on the front window say thanks, but they certainly tell me when the feeder is empty. They sit on the little perch and stare into the room. A while ago I was in the kitchen…just round the corner, and a robin was doing a fine impression of a humming bird , peering in at me. When I went to look….sure enough, the feeder was empty!

Derek Faulkner said...

Pat, at our darts league matches in the 1970's toast and dripping was the half time food provided by each pub and people scoffed it down - lovely stuff with a pint of real ale.

Terry and Linda said...

I sure hope you are feeling much better today. We lose most of our fruit to the birds, but I do enjoy the birds so I guess its a good trade.

Linda

Joanne Noragon said...

I left all my feeders, all the hooks in the trees and all the storage cans at the old house. I hope the next owner will feed the birds.

Cloudia said...

The birds lived here before we came, and we love being among them here. We do feed the hummingbirds with much pleasure, and the wild ducks have used our outdoor water dish to bathe, drink and lounge around :)

Hildred said...

Pat, your post reminds me of our youngest son who has a feeding affair with the birds that come to spend the summer up on the mountain meadow in the Chilcotin, where he and his brother and my DIL live. I love to hear his tales of the various kinds of swallows and all the other birds that I never see here in town (although they were plentiful on the farm), - I feed the song birds and the sparrows, and of course the quail and the mourning dove (which I am told is really a type of pigeon) and love to watch them drinking and bathing in the Lady Fountain.

Terra Hangen said...

We feed the birds too, and have 8 lovely mourning doves that sit on the fence and wait to be fed. Someone mentioned drippings; my mom saved all drippings, especially from bacon, and then we would add in seeds and put it into pine cones and hang them up in trees in our yard. Very nourishing for the birds in snow time.

Tom Stephenson said...

The ungrateful bastards.

Sue said...

We have dozens of house sparrows nesting in the walls of the barn. The nuthatch is a particular favourite of mine, I love the way they climb upside down.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

THe berries on my holly tree never last till Christmas to take around to my folks to make a wreath with. Woodpigeons are the main culprits on my tree though.

Rachel said...

The birds in my garden up-end the bird table if they dont get seconds

donna baker said...

Besides my weenies, feeding and watching the birds are two of the biggest joys in my life.

Cro Magnon said...

I'm still hanging 'grease-balls' for the birds which they seem to enjoy. It's Magpies here that are reproducing at a great rate. I passed a small field recently, one early morning, and disturbed about 30 of them; I've never seen so many together.

angryparsnip said...

I don't feed the birds but would like to. I don't because we have so many packrats that I don't want attacking the house.
But I did make two small pond for their water and baths that they so enjoy.

cheers, parsnip and thehamish

Maria said...

We are not allowed to feed the birds in town; pigeons take over!
Greetings Maria x

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely to hear that dripping is still on the menu!
Lovely also to hear that our experiences with feeding birds all seem to
be the same. I wish we had nuthatches - I have seen one but not up here, I think perhaps we are a bit far North for them.

Oh Tom - I'm sure you are much softer-hearted than you let on.

Thanks for calling in everyone.