Saturday, 4 April 2020

One weary Wheatear

Wheatears normally stand proud and bold on Ocean Edge foreshore rocks. This morning's second calendar year male, looked like it wished it were somewhere else.

Nothing else moving except c40 Wood pigeon milling around. They seem to be finding "new" feeding areas as previously busy patches are becoming less disturbed.

No sign (sound) last night or tonight of the nocturnal Common Scoter passage, documented from numerous sites last night (e.g. White Lund and 3 locations in Lancaster).

As things are quiet, I (MD) thought I would share this with you. At least those of you fortunate enough to have a garden or yard. It might add a bit more interest to your garden birdwatching.
I have at least two Jays visiting my Heysham garden bird feeding area almost every day, except during the summer months. In autumn they bring their young and I have had five at one time. Although there is a strict pecking order, and only one bird feeds at a time.
This is one of this mornings birds

This is only 1 metre from my living room window. Sometimes they wait their turn on the window ledge.

They started about 10 years ago. At first, I placed peanuts in shells loosly on a tray. The problem with that is the Magpies, who pinched them.

So I started stringing them on a wire and wrapping it around a wooden musheroom, any fixed point would do. The magpies feeding method doesn't allow them to open them like this (they use their beaks like a hammer), whereas the jays have no problem at all as they use their beaks to prise the shells open.
This is the peanuts before I fix them. I ration them to 13 a day.

It took a while for them to become regular, but there have been lots of generations introduced to this feeding method, so there should be lots of potential birds around the area.
Unfortunately, it is getting towards the end of their feeding period, they do come for top ups occasionally during summer though. 
Of course, this way of feeding also attracts squirrels, But We only get one or two a week. This may be seen as a good or a bad thing, dependant on how you regard squirrels. 
Good luck, if you give it a go.

Just one further comment while I'm talking feeders. It's really nice to see the Greenfinch numbers increasing again.