Saturday, 7 February 2009

Feeding the birds, and problems with squirrels

This post is mostly about birds in our wood:
but first let me digress onto squirrel damage...

Here's a young holly tree that's been gnawed, which we saw as we walked between Sweep and Grist wood:
This was too high off the ground to be a rabbit, so it was deer or squirrel I guess.

The following was certainly from squirrels though:
So much for squirrel proof! I guess they didn't know the squirrels would be able to unscrew the hook from the top of the bird feeder so it falls to the ground and lets them in...

And here's some more evidence - squirrel droppings:
So, we set about putting the feeders back up in places where it might be harder for the squirrels to get to them. We want the birds to be able to get some food during the current cold weather.
We'll see how we go. If the squirrels get them again, I'll be back with the air rifle next time and we'll be having squirrel for dinner (I'm not joking).

Anyway, the birds in our wood are either fearless or very hungry, because no sooner had we got the food out than they came down to eat it, even while we were still bustling around. Here's a Coal Tit scavenging for seeds dropped on the ground:
A Robin came straight to the usual place he hangs out on a dead wood pile, where we'd put some fat:
and a Great Tit found the seeds we'd put under a piece of wood leaning against a tree (we knew they liked going into this gap already). By the way, the rest of the photos are ones Tracy took.
Some Blue Tits also came, and found the hanging fat rings to their liking:
Within just a few minutes the birds were back at one of the feeders, so they must have been using it before the squirrels got to it:
Then a new arrival turned up - a Nuthatch. As if to prove his tree climbing abilities he came in via the rope:
He did get to eat, but before long a bossy Great Tit flew in, and so he had to fly out:
Last of all, the Coal Tit decided to come to the feeder as well:
and once the Great Tit had got out of the way, he was able to come down and feed:
Here's the Coal Tit making his escape - we did well with in-flight photos today!
And finally, the next couple of pictures aren't great, but I wanted to include them as it's a bird we've not seen in the wood before - a Treecreeper, creeping around on a tree, as you might expect:
That's all for now. I'm travelling around the UK for work for the next week, so I hope the snow doesn't cause any more chaos...


1 comment:

La Ferme de Sourrou said...

Aw, this was lovely. Good photography and the commentary was fun too.

Bloomin' squirrels....;-)