Our bird table was put up when we moved into the house twenty years ago from next door (my aged parents in law lived here until they died) so it has done very well. But yesterday, after tilting to one side for about the last year, the roof began to come adrift and it looked in a sorry state.
Our Builders' Merchants only come here on Fridays (Market Day) so I sent them an e mail asking them to bring us a couple of new bird tables, so that the farmer could choose one.
This afternoon he has been putting it up. The first job was to put an extra piece round each side because we get a lot of corvids - rooks, crows, jackdaws and magpies - and they are all partial to the odd mealworm. And of course their huge beaks shovel them up leaving none for the blackbirds, tits and robins who also adore them.
I took the opportunity to thoroughly wash the various feeders - this in itself was hard because they are made of plastic and over the years the plastic tends to get brittle, but at least I finished up with them cleaner than when I began the job.
We feed 'our' birds all the year round - for purely selfish reasons really; we love wild birds, the table is just outside the kitchen window where we sit for our meals and we can watch them the whole time. We get a good variety - blackbirds, robins, wrens, great tits, blue tits, coal tits, chaffinches, greenfinches, goldfinches, yellowhammers, lesser spotted woodpeckers, collared doves, wild pheasant, house sparrows, hedge sparrows and tree sparrows - and the odd other visitor like a siskin or a brambling. Good value for money as far as we are concerned - and always a joy to watch.
Here are a few photographs of the farmer in demolition and building mode. Note the blue baler band used to string up the fat balls - I did mention that something else might be an improvement but the suggestion was met with a stare - baler band is used for everything on the farm from improvising a dog leash to keeping up a pair or trousers and I suppose that at least blue is a slight improvement on the usual orange.
We feed fat balls, meal worms, nyger (for the goldfinches),mixed seed and peanuts. In addition, in the Winter the birds get coconuts (in their shells and cut in half) and shredded suet. And always there are some scraps from the table - crumbs - a piece of old cheese and things like that. Incidentally, the chicken wire is round the fat balls again to stop the corvids.
The sparrows quickly worked out how to get inside, as did the tits.
Here are the photographs: