NATURE NOTES - early December 2010
What a terrible time the little birds have had over the last cold spell and the forecast is another cold spell ahead. Water is the important factor and if you can find the time to keep water available this is as important as food. We have had up to 30 birds at any time on the seeds. At the rate they are getting through it I will be bankrupt !! I fill 9 feeders. 2 with fat balls, 4 with seeds, and 3 with peanuts. The greenfinches don't appear to have recovered from the disease they suffered from 2 years ago whilst the coal tits and in fact all the tits have exploded in numbers. My suggestion is that you try to avoid seed mixes with too much wheat in it. The problem is that the majority of small birds will not eat the wheat so they chuck it out onto the ground. This can cause a problem with rats. Down by the river the Otters are still about. In the snow their tracks were all along the river bank. The White Egret has disappeared for the time being but the geese and the swans (33 of them) are about everyday and we have seen the snipe. For those of you who ventured forth in the last week the sight of the river totally frozen over was a sight not to be missed. Just incredible. There were 3 Red Kites over Willersley last week and they were there for several days. I saw a Goshawk at Moccas and often see the Peregrine when walking by the river. The Buzzards must be finding life difficult as their main diet is worms which are not available in the frozen weather.