Starling and Robin on the bird feeder. Photos by Danielle Bussell.

Welcoming Nature In

It’s exciting to see what new birds are daring to trust the space you’ve created for them. Keep reading to see how I’ve been encouraging them in and what I plan to do next :)

I love wildlife! I’m very lucky to have grown up with parents who love nature and moved us to the countryside while we were young. Back in my family home is Essex I was always seconds away from field after field. So, now  I’m back near the countryside, I want to bring that nature back to my little garden.

My first step to welcoming nature into my garden is putting up a bird feeder. I love watching birds come in and out of the garden.

Step One: Making sure your home is suitable for birds.

Back at my family home we have lots of cats. Now don’t get me wrong, I adore my cats (especially my beautiful girl Tonks!), but we all know they aren’t great for wild birds. There are a few cats in my estate, but I’ve kept an eye out for a couple of months and non of them come into my garden, so I was confident putting my bird feeder up wouldn’t be a problem. To be honest, the biggest thing you need to worry about with birds and cats is bird boxes, as fledglings are all too easy for cats to find before you do. So, don’t worry too much about bird feeders and cats, but definitely take it into consideration.

It’s also important to consider the positioning of your feeder. I decided I would put mine in the far corner of my garden so it wasn’t too close to the house so they wouldn’t feel intimidated, but also I wanted to position it near trees so the birds would have somewhere to hide and feel safe while they were getting used to the new food in their surroundings.

Step Two: Buying a good bird feeder.

There are lots of different types of bird feeders and it’s important to get the right one for you. At first I considered getting a bird table, but then I remembered that, not only do cats climb on them, if you live in an area prone to rats (mostly the city or rural countryside), they might also like to climb on a bird table.

I chose a bird feeding station. It looks really nice in the garden and has spaces to hang lots of enticing food for your bird friends. It also has a water bowl which I think it a great addition.

I got my bird feeder from Wilkinson  for £10.00 which I think was a great find! It’s really sturdy and, for those in windy areas, it survived storm Doris here in the UK so you know it’s good.  (For those wondering, yes I did put my bird feeder up for the day a storm hit… because I’m that kind of prepared!).

So here’s what my feeder looks like straight out of the box :) …

Bird Feeding Station. Photos by Danielle Bussell.

Bird Feeding Station. Photos by Danielle Bussell.

I also bought some bird food from Wilkinsons while I was on there and I have to say, the birds are loving it! Find out more below…

Step Three: Get the good stuff.

It’s best to get a variety of foods so you can cater to all birds, don’t limit yourself if you don’t have to!

You can see from the picture above that I bought suet balls (great in the UK as it’s still pretty cold out here so it’s helping to keep the birds plump and warm – £1.00), small bird feed (this contains dried meal worms, sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, and corn, among many others – £2.00) and ground and table special mix (containing raisins, oats and seeds – £2.00).

I’ve been amazed at how much the birds have liked the oats and raisin mix. I’ve had to replace it every 2 days because it’s all been gone. From experience I knew the blackbirds would love the raisins as my Grandad has one super cheeky blackbird who sits on his window ledge until Grandad throws him out a handful of raisins.

My mum told me that she managed to make a friend in a robin by putting seeds in her hand and not looking at it for a few weeks, but apparently it preferred cake and biscuits. So yeah, birds love raisins and cake…

Full to the brim bird feeder. Photos by Danielle Bussell.

Full to the brim bird feeder. Photos by Danielle Bussell.

After my massive Wilkinsons shop I decided to visit the garden centre where I live to see if I could find a cheaper version to the feed I’d already bought as it is a weeee bit expensive for a small bag when the birds are eating it at such a quick rate. I managed to find a 12 kg bag of bird food (mostly corn, sunflower seeds and sunflower hearts) for £3.99 which is a great deal! Because I didn’t want to miss out on the raisin and oat love I’d created with my bird friends already I bought a couple of bags of Tesco value oats and raisins to mix in. I also bought a suet block which the starlings and blue tits are LOVING!  Word of warning though, don’t touch it, it’s super goopy.

So here’s a couple of pictures of the two birds I’ve managed to catch so far…

Starling and Robin on the bird feeder. Photos by Danielle Bussell.

Starling and Robin on the bird feeder. Photos by Danielle Bussell.

So all-in-all my nature experiment is going well. I am super excited to see what other birds I get as the year goes on.

My next wildlife mission is to create some bug homes in my garden and to get more plants and flowers to attract bees and butterflies .

I hope you found this post informative in some way, even if all I taught you was that robin’s like cake. Do you have anything you could add to this from your experience? If so let me know in the comments :)

Until next time!

 

 

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