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Land Of Plenty

1st of February 2014

Quite a few people have stopped me in the village recently to ask where all the garden birds have gone. Most say that their feeders are not being visited as much as usual, and some that the birds have got fussy and will not eat some of the bird food mixes they are offering. I don’t think there is anything to worry about; it is just the abundance of natural food on offer. I have never had so many apples on the trees. The hollies and, indeed, all berry bearing bushes are full of fruit and so far the weather has been mild and there are still insects about.

My own feeders have had plenty of blue tits and great tits with my most regular customers being a pair of nut hatches which adore sunflower seeds and not much else. Because we have not had many easterly winds, not many redwings or fieldfares have arrived from Scandinavia, yet. That part of the world also had a good fruiting season and so the birds won’t waste energy flying into a westerly wind while they still have food where they are. I have a little group of five fieldfares eating my windfall apples but some years there have been flocks of a hundred or so made up of redwings, fieldfares and blackbirds.

This morning there were five bullfinches eating the buds from my prunus tree. Thirty years ago the poor tree did not flower at all as a dozen or more bullfinches would come every winter and eat every bud but in more recent years there has only been the odd one or two and the tree has done well. Today there were three beautiful pink breasted males and two females. I don’t begrudge them a few buds as they are so lovely, but I hope they leave my peach and apple trees alone.

Do keep putting food and water out; when the weather turns cold the birds will soon turn up. A few easterly winds and who knows what might turn up on our doorsteps!
Wendy Bathurst

 
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