Well what am I going to write about? Lots of time has past since my last post and the weather continues to frustrate us here making gardening on the soggy ground virtually impossible!
My wild flower meadow/lawn was in dire need of its Autumn cut but September came and went, the rain continued through October into November, then we were into December and more rain! On the rare occasion that we had more than a days break from the rain the local water level continued to rise and the garden got boggier & boggier!....
You will be pleased to know that I did eventually get the area cut but this was right at the end of December!! Now I know that this is much later than a wild flower area would normally be cut but with the current weather you never know it might just prove ideal!!!...
Everything that you do in a wildlife garden has an effect on something, like the Green Woodpecker in the picture above who is now a daily visitor to the wild flower area, probing the bare patches of earth for ants! Gardening for wildlife really is fascinating and so rewarding!
So it was great getting a few dry days to finally get out and get at least that job done! However two days later this happened.....
- Every morning the frozen water bowl is de-iced with hot water and this is repeated through the day as necessary. Even in really cold weather birds still need to drink and bath to keep their feathers in tip top condition!
- I start feeding meal worms as they are an instant energy boost for many species, however large numbers of Starlings seem to be the main takers this year! I tend to keep meal worms for the colder weather otherwise it becomes a bit expensive feeding them all year round!
- Step up the amount of seed. I also add a few extra sunflower hearts which the birds absolutely go mad for during the winter months. If this becomes a bit expensive mix them with whole black sunflower seeds that are a bit cheaper. My finch numbers really escalated this winter and during the snow & freezing weather they were eating two large feeder fulls of sunflower seeds/hearts a day!!
- I also throw some mixed seed and sultanas/raisins on top of the snowy ground for ground feeders such as Blackbirds and Dunnocks. My largest single Blackbird count was two short of twenty all feeding on this ground feed! Normally I wouldn't throw seed on the ground as I don't want to encourage rats but with these numbers of birds visiting it soon gets eaten up!
- Fat Balls are another favourite and I noticed my Blackcaps enjoying them this year as was a Great Spotted Woodpecker amongst other species.
- Keep the nuts topped up as they offer quick energy although other than the Woodpecker and Coal Tits they weren't fed on so much this year. Even the squirrels ignored them homing in on the sunflower hearts which without doubt have been the most favoured food type this winter!
Before I leave you I want to re-introduce Cottage Gardener (CG) again! He is still working his large half acre plot and has lots of plans to make improvements and to encourage more wildlife into the garden which is always a good thing! I think that he also plans on adding more details about his plans on his blog, which should be an interesting read! So if like me you find the lack of gardening weather frustrating this could be another garden worth following as time goes on! If you fancy taking a look for yourself you can view his 'Cottage gardening' blog here.. http://cottagegardening.blogspot.co.uk/
Amazingly CG has told me that he was inspired to start his garden project and blog after reading my blog here! This is fantastic and if I've only inspired one person to garden for wildlife then it makes it all worth it!! With this in mind I always love your feed back about both the blog and my garden so please do feel free to keep the comments coming and make suggestions, I always read them and answer every one!...
I'll say bye for now and see you next time!