Garden Birds

As you are many of you are aware I have been unable to do as much birding recently.  I have however taken this opportunity to spend some time watching the birds visiting the feeding station that I have set up in the back garden.  Bev and I live in a terraced house in a built up part of Kidderminster yet over the last few years we have seen the number of birds visiting our back garden increase considerably. 

In the garden we have feeders that contain sunflower hearts, peanuts and homemade fat cakes.  On the table there are more sunflower hearts, dried meal worms and suet pellets.  During the winter months I also buy some cheap apples, cut them into halves and stick them on the branches of some of the shrub. This feeding has reaped its rewards and the local flock of House Sparrows has almost doubled over recent years to around 40 House Sparrow.  Starling numbers have steadily increased too with on average 14-16 Starlings visiting the garden at any one time, although this number has been close to 40 can imagine the noise and mess at times!  

For the past 3 successive winters I have attracted over-wintering Blackcaps into the garden with an incredible 4 Blackcaps (3♂ & 1♀) visiting for over a week during winter 2010/2011.  Also during the winter 2010/2011 I had a flock of 30 Waxwings perched in a tree in the back garden before they descended on a neighbours Rowan

On Tuesday 7th February 2012 between 10:30 & 11:00am I decided to watch the feeders and note down what I saw.  In this short space of time I recorded  1♂ Blackcap, 1 Songthrush, 2 Robin, 1 Blackbird, 30 House Sparrow, 8 Starling, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blue Tit, 2 Collard Dove and 2 Wood Pigeon.

Other birds recorded in the garden this past week have included 3 GoldfinchGreat Tit, Long-tailed Tit, 1 Redwing and 1 Fieldfare.   

Flyovers this week have included Cormorant, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Sparrowhawk and ♀ Great Spotted Woodpecker

Notable flyovers in 2011 included Common Buzzard, Meadow Pipit, Peregrine, Raven, Skylark and Swallow.

It just shows what you can attract into the humblest of gardens if you put in a few shrubs and hang up a number of feeders.  Its also worth keeping an eye on the skies above your garden, you would be amazed at what flies over.

♂ Blackcap - Back Garden, 13th February 2012


  1. Some good stuff there, Jason, for a terraced house garden. I`m very envious of your Blackcap records. I get a few singing birds in Spring, but have yet to record one in Winter.

    ps - sorry to hear about your dog.

  2. Excellent stuff, sounds like you really make the most of your garden.

  3. Hi Jason,
    It's a tough time for you both with Danny and I wish you the best for your time together. He landed on his feet with you two, as have the local birds - a regular cordon bleu menu which has clearly paid dividends. Great idea with the kebabed apples!

  4. hi Jason, I think it is a great shame that many birders overlook the more common birds and particularly their garden birds, after all it was probably seeing the birds in our gardens which got many of us hooked in the first place!

    You certainly have seen a good variety of birds in and around your garden and you have reminded me to look at what flies over as well as what lands in my garden. I too have had Blackcaps in my garden for some years in the Winter but sadly this year I haven't noticed any at all.

    Love the photo! I spear apples onto tree branches and scatter them on the ground too.

    Lots of love to Danny.

  5. Hi Jason, you you know the one thing I really miss about living on water is a garden. It's extremely difficult to entice birds onto feeders over water, they obviously like the protection of surrounding hedges, bushes or trees.

    Seems you've done a terrific job in attracting birds to your little piece of the countryside, well done! Hope you can get back out onto your patch soon! Missing your updates :)



  6. Dean yo have to make the most of the space you have. When I moved in it was all concrete and lawm. Since then I have put in a Silver Birch, Rown, 3 Buddleia, Pyrocantha, Cotoneaster, Globe Thistle, Golden Rod and Valerian to name but a few.

    I also put in a small pond and leave an area of branches/decaying wood for the insects. Its amazing in the space of a few short years how good a garden can become for wildlife.

    Re. the dog...thanks mate much appreciated

  7. Ive lost all the House Sparrows from my garden Jase, there are a few out in the lane but they dont venture in too often now :-(

  8. Alan - Thanks, I do try to (see my previous comment).

    Rob - Thanks mateboth Danny and I have been lucky to be able to enjoy each others company in his autumn years. As for the birds...I dont mind the cost of the variety of food when you get to see how beneficial it can be for them

    Jan - Your right its very easy to forget about the common birds but they all have their merits. Thanks for your your kind words about Danny...and rememcer, keep an eye on those skies

    Keith - Cheers mate, hopefully will pay shenstone a visit later this week! You may not have a garden but think of what you have on your doorsteep (or should that be mooring)...Kingfishers, manadirns and a host of wildfowl...cant be bad!