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Bird and wildlife watching

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 27 Sep 2013 23:22

Ann the birds use my compost heap in the summer :-D

I have always believed that fat balls, bread and peanuts can be harmful if the parents feed these to nestling :-S

Lesley x


AnninGlos Report 28 Sep 2013 16:25

Yes, never feed birds whole peanut(crush them) or dry bread when they are feeding young. Not seen anything about fat balls, they only take small amounts of those.


kandj Report 29 Sep 2013 19:44

oops! I do break bread and put this out daily......am I doing something wrong?
I have 2 bird baths so always water nearby. I find the starlings come down in droves and clear the breadcrumbs so fast. Almost like watching a scene from the Alfred Hitchcock film, The Birds.


AnninGlos Report 29 Sep 2013 20:45

I think bread is fine now as the babies are older. In spring I soak it in water, gravy or oil from roasting etc


Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 29 Sep 2013 23:34

Ann I really hope I don't come across as being pedantic as that isn't my intention but feeding birds with oil from a roasting tin is a big no no.


AnninGlos Report 30 Sep 2013 12:30

Is that right Lesley? I have seen people make fat balls etc by mixing fat/oil in. I don't do it often but is it harmful?


Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 30 Sep 2013 16:56

Hello Ann I've C&Pd this.


Cooking fat

Fat from cooking is bad for birds. The problem with cooked fat from roasting tins and dishes is that the meat juices have blended with the fat and when allowed to set, this consistency makes it prone to smearing, not good for birds' feathers. It is a breeding ground for bacteria, so potentially bad for birds' health. Salt levels depend on what meat is used and if any salt is added during cooking.

Lard and beef suet on their own are fine as they re-solidify after warming and as they are pure fat, it is not as suitable for bacteria to breed on.

Polyunsaturated margarines or vegetable oils

These are unsuitable for birds. Unlike humans, birds need high levels of saturated fat, such as raw suet and lard. They need the high energy content to keep warm in the worst of the winter weather, since their body reserves are quickly used up, particularly on cold winter nights. The soft fats can easily be smeared onto the feathers, destroying the waterproofing and insulating qualities.

Lesley x


AnninGlos Report 30 Sep 2013 22:05

Thanks Lesley,haven't used it often and it is usually crows that have had it. (No salt added at all) hopefully hasn' caused any problems shallavoid it in future.


kandj Report 30 Sep 2013 22:43

Thanks Ann I will remember your advice about the dry bread for next year.

Lesley your link is mega interesting and really very helpful..... thank you.


Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 6 Oct 2013 23:21

kandj I'm pleased you found the link helpful :-)

Do you think the birds know something we don't :-S in my garden all the birds have been very busy eating, drinking and bathing in the bird baths...........are we heading for a cold spell :-(

Lesley x


AnninGlos Report 7 Oct 2013 09:37

Mmm worrying that. Our seeders were empty within half a day but I blame the pigeons and doves.


Jane Report 8 Oct 2013 17:56

Oh I have been absent for so long.Busy time here and then we went to Venice for a lovely holiday as OH retired a fortnight ago.
Yesterday ,and today we have had the tree surgeons in (and tomorrow) and all my little birdies have disappeared as it has been so noisy with all the machines,plus I have had to move all their food .Hopefully when it is all peaceful again and food back in place they will return.They must be a bit confused right now :-S


AnninGlos Report 8 Oct 2013 19:02

I am sure they will come back once the food is out. I have not been to venice would love to go sometime.


Jane Report 8 Oct 2013 20:23

Ann it is one of my favourite places.I'm sure you would love it.The only birds I saw though were Great big Pidgeons and Seagulls.
Yes I'm sure the birds will be back in full force once their food is all back up in place :-D


kandj Report 10 Oct 2013 19:25

Jane I hope you are pleased with the tree surgeons efforts and I feel sure that your feathered friends will be back to see you very soon for their food.


Jane Report 10 Oct 2013 20:57

kandj, the birds are back and have found their normal feeding places :-D. I bet they were watching lol
The tree surgeons have done a brilliant job.It took them 2 and a half days.They discovered that our Yew hedge at the end was about 20 foot deep :-0 :-0.We thought the deepest part was about 10.So it took them more time and they got an extra person in for the last day . They have reduced the height of the hedge,reduced the height of what should be a Dwarf Fir (it was about 30 ft) by 25% and shaped it up a bit,taken down 2 dead trees and also thinned out and taken a bit off a big Ash Tree.
The noise of all the Chain saws and shredding machine was horrendous ,but now it is so quiet.It's heaven :-DI felt sorry for my neighbours ,but it was a job that needed to be done.
I have heard a Pheasant .Is it coming up Pheasant shooting time?


Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 10 Oct 2013 23:19

You are right Jane pheasant shooting has started, the season is from 1st October to 1st February although many people don't start until nearer the end of October.

Duck, goose and partridge start 1st September.

I love it on shoot days when the game birds take cover my garden :-D :-D :-D this year for the first time ever we have a covey of grey leg partridge hiding up:-D we normally only see red leg partridge in my area:-(

Lesley x


kandj Report 12 Oct 2013 11:54

Jane, it sounds a job well done by the tree surgeons and I'm sure your neighbours wouldn't mind the noise when they could see what was happening. Good that your birds have returned so soon, they probably were watching all the activity lol.

Lesley, don't know if I would like a covey of partridge in my garden. I am a real wuss, although I love seeing the birds I don't like them flapping their wings and flying off near me, it freaks me out, (I admit to being a wuss lol).

It is a very wet grey day here in Yorkshire with a cold strong wind today. The clouds are low and it looks as if the rain is set in for the day, no break in the clouds. The birds must be sheltering because there are non to be seen, but I'll keep watching and waiting.


AnninGlos Report 12 Oct 2013 13:28

Well, first thing there was no break in our clouds and it was very dull dark and drizzly. Yesterday we had quite strong winds, and Thursday too. At the moment the sun has broken through so I will now go and fill the bird feeders. The Collard doves were looking very puzzled and grumpy this morning because there was no seed.


AnninGlos Report 12 Oct 2013 15:07

Anyone else found earwigs in bird feeders? Twice recently when topping up feeders I have had earwigs crawling out of them. Ugh!! :-(