Housekeeping starts my #30Days Wild adventures this month. Housekeeping for the birds, that is.
My new garden birds
It’s pretty simple watch the birds in your garden on a regular basis, and note the maximum number you see at one time of each species. Submit your results online, and away you go.
Other things you can record: mammals, butterflies, bumblebees, dragonflies, amphibians, and certain other insects.
I started today submitting my records for last week.
Blackbird 4, Robin 2, Dunnock 2, Wren, 1, Blackcap 1, Garden Warbler 1, Jackdaw 5, Woodpigeon 3, Chaffinch 2, Goldfinch 4, Greenfinch 2, Blue Tit 2, Great Tit 1, Magpie 2, Bullfinch 1.
Large Red Damselfly 1, Brown Rat 1, White-tailed Bumblebee 2, Buff-tailed Bumblebee 3, Early Bumblebee 1, Stag Beetle 2, Small White 1, Pipistrelle 1, domestic cat 1.
The birds are a pretty regular set, although the bullfinch is new. I do count birds I can hear singing in my hedge or tree, even if I can’t see them.
Feeding birds and housekeeping
I feed birds year round, unless there is a problem that needs me to stop. You’ll notice the rat in the list. If rats became a problem I’d have to stop, but given the soggy area that leads down to a ditch which leads to the local tributary to a major river, I’m not concerned. I’m more concerned about the cat that thinks he can walk through my garden. He probably has a slight deterrent on the rat, but I don’t want him in there disturbing the brids or doing his business in my garden. Cat poo probably carries more disease than rats do. It’s pretty close, anyway.
Talking of disease, I was careful not to bring my old feeder here, with the possibility of it spreading diseases from Norfolk to Hampshire. My new one is an easy-clean one, or would be if I could get the end under the tap. As I can’t get the kettle under the tap either, I’m planning to get a new tap!
The BTO has done extensive research on bird disease and feeding, and they recommend strict hygiene. The main thing is cleaning the feeder regularly and moving it around the garden. I decided the first day of the month was the day I do this:; it helps me remember.
Providing water is also essential, both for drinking and washing!
So my housekeeping this morning has been devoted to the birds, and I hope they thank me for it. Well, they will when the feeder is dry and refilled. Meanwhile the seed in it from last night went onto the ground so the Jackdaws, Woodpigeons and Blackbirds are thoroughly enjoying their feast. and not a rat in sight, touch wood.
More tomorrow, probably.