My recommended mix of feed to stock up on includes:
- niger seed – a must have to get the beautiful goldfinches!
- sunflower hearts or a variety seed mix. This attracts green finches, coal tits, blue tits, great tits and even a pheasant if on the ground.
- peanuts are liked by woodpeckers (particularly during nesting season), blue tits and great tits
- fat balls are the favourite of the long tailed tits who arrive in groups and as fast as you see them arrive they are gone again! Blue tits and great tits also like them.
- Bread or mixed seed on the ground or on platform is popular with the robins, chaffinches, wrens and blackbirds.
I have also seen a short eared owl, sparrow hawk, waxwings and fieldfares in the garden but can’t pretend I did anything to attract them there! I am lucky in that there are few cats and no squirrels who arrive to disrupt proceedings, I know a lot of people have trouble with them.
I have recently invested in two new feeders from the Jacobi Jayne range. I have to say in the case of bird feeders you really do get what you pay for. This range is really robust, easy to open to refill and clean, and has a lifetime guarantee. In the long term I think I will save money by investing in these new feeders.
Lastly you can encourage birds by planting trees and shrubs with seed heads, berries and so on. Blackbirds, field fares and thrushes love fallen apples or any crab apples. The blackbirds normally strip my pyracantha during a hard winter – this year it still looks bountiful as it has been so mild. The bird bath has also been deserted – wonder why?!