Feed the birds

Silhouettes of a flock of small birds flying in a light blue sky at Bosinver

Do you get many birds in your garden?

We’re lucky to have the sort of environment at Bosinver which naturally attracts birds – and we enjoy seeing how many different birds we can spot visiting the feeders while we’re eating lunch.


Blue tits, cole tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, chaffinches, greenfinches and sparrows are among our frequent avian guests.

One of our favourite visitors is a nuthatch. Everyone goes quiet once someone’s spotted it. If you’ve never seen one, they’re beautiful: shy, elegant and stealthy. There’s something about the way they creep down the tree, pressed up close against it.

Now that it’s getting colder and darker, Farmer Dave has started putting a lot more nuts out and fat balls to help keep our feathered friends going through the winter.

If you want to attract birds to your garden, there’s a lot you can do at home:

1. Put out food on a regular basis. If the weather’s particularly bad, try to feed the birds in the morning and early afternoon.

2. Fresh water for drinking and bathing is also a must, particularly when other water sources are frozen.

3. Only top up food when it’s needed, particularly on bird tables, as excess food can go bad or attract vermin.

4. Birds need high fat foods to give them energy during the day and to help them maintain their fat reserves to survive the much colder nights – so try and give them good quality food and scraps.

5. If you establish a feeding routine, try not to change it too much, as birds will become used to visiting your garden at certain times of day to feed.

6. If squirrels are a problem, you can buy specially-designed bird feeders (like ours, above) to stop them stealing all the nuts!

The RSPB has lots of advice on feeding birds including what to feed them, and which types of bird feeders work best for different birds. They’ve also got an interactive bird finder, which can be useful for identifying any more unusual visitors – like redwings, fieldfares and siskins.

Why not see how many types of bird you can spot? And if you manage to get any pictures, we’d love to see them (our attempts to photograph the nuthatch have failed every time so far!)

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