Have you noticed an increase in wild birds visiting your garden? Do your feeders seem emptier on a more regular basis, is the pile of food you're putting on your bird table and ground vanishing before your very eyes?
It's not your imagination! The weather has now turned colder, the berries and apples etc are becoming more scarce, and insects have gone into hibernation or died off altogether due to the sudden cold spell.
It's no wonder the birds are turning to our gardens for some tasty suet pellets, fat balls, bird seed or some delicious, wholesome, mealworms to fill their empty bellies! Despite the natural beauty of this time of year, I can't help but worry every now and then about our feathered friends and their constant struggle to survive in harsh conditions. It really is a matter of life or death to them!
So, it really is heart-warming to see the good folk of Nantwich visiting their local market to purchase some of our (rather large range - for a market stall) wild bird seed and other bird related foods. Our outdoor market stall does tend to get rather busy at this time of year - quite a relief after the late summer slump we experience (mid-August onwards) each year as the birds disappear into the hedgerows and fields to eat their natural food supplies.
We have seen a large increase in visitation by our garden birds and a wider range of species, too! Goldfinches are flocking in their usual numbers and consuming sunflower hearts at a considerable rate; blue tits, coal tits, great tits all making a meal of the peanuts out of our Bird Lovers peanut feeder; woodpeckers love the high-concentrated fat-and-seed fatballs we sell (no nets and no filling agents with our high quality fat balls!); it's great to see a beautiful nuthatch on the Squirrel Buster Mini seed feeder, upside-down as usual and snatching the sunflower seeds before swiftly flying off to hide it away for a future date; ground feeders such as robins, blackbirds and chaffinches have increased substantially and love our songbird mix of bird food and the odd scattering of mealworms and suet pellets thrown in for good measure!
If you feed at this time of year it's important to make sure you are consistent with offering your bird food to all garden birds, suddenly stopping can cause major problems for our birds especially if they are relying on your food during really harsh weather conditions.
So please make sure you have plenty of bird food in stock and maintain a habit of placing food out for early mornings, and again before dark sets in so they can top-up before the cold night.
Feeding and caring for garden birds is one of the most rewarding pastimes one can immerse yourself in; it's interesting and it really does help them to survive in times of struggle. Nantwich people know, and if you're new to feeding the birds, then give us a call or come and see us at Nantwich Outdoor Market and we'll be happy to give you some advice if you feel you need it.
You might say we that we would say this but, it really is money well spent! And with Christmas just round the corner, it makes and excellent present, too.
Hi. I'm Phil Stokes and I'll be blogging on here about what's new and happening at Gala Wildlife. Come back for updates.