I have long given up on making new year’s resolutions. Partly because by this time of year, i.e. the 2nd of January, I’ve broken half of them. But I have started to implement my plans to help encourage birds and beneficial pollinators to my outdoor space. I’m starting with the birds by making sure that I supply various foods to sustain their diet during these cold winter months.
January and February tend to be the coldest months of the year, and food is very scarce both for food gardeners and wildlife. I’ve taken advantage of the Christmas and New Year sales and purchased a bird table and bird food supplies.
Wilko is my go-to bird food supplier, I normally buy a tub of 50 fat balls for £4. The birds which especially love these fat balls are robins, blue tits, magpies and the occasional big pigeon.
In an effort to attract a wider variety of birds and to tempt the blue tits away from my already blossoming honeysuckle, I’m trialing these suet blocks. So far, however, they are not at all tempted by the, preferring to stick to the fat balls. I’m think maybe I need to give the birds a bit more chance to discover them, or move the blocks elsewhere in the garden. I’m hoping when the bird table arrives, I can place the blocks on it, and save my poor honeysuckle!
I also placed a bird seed feeder outside, but again, the birds are not biting. Oddly, I’ve never had much luck when it comes to loose bird seed. A few years ago, I was filling a seed feeder, when I spilled some on a now defunct garden table. I went inside to get something to clean it up, and in the few seconds I had turned my back, a family of squirrels appeared in the garden. For a split second, I thought I was a Disney princess, and the squirrels had come to visit me in my fairy tale garden. Then I remembered how I spilled the bird seed. I admit I was more than a little hurt that the fantasy didn’t pan out, and more than a little bit cross that at least 10 squirrels, came from nowhere to deprive the birds of their lunch.
I’m glad to say that the squirrels have not returned in such numbers, although we do get the occasional visit from a solo squirrel, one who I suspect keeps digging up my raised beds. But thanks to the neighbourhood cats, mainly stays out of the way on the roof tops.
While I hope that encouraging birds into the garden now, will encourage them to help me control the snail and slug population later in the Summer, I’m also doing this to help increase the local bird population. Some species have been declining for years, so every effort I make can only help them flourish.
I’m looking forward to receiving the bird table, and hopefully a bird feeding stand, currently on waitlist, and will review them, along with the bird food in due course.
This may not be a new year’s resolution in the true sense, but I’m glad that I’m actually doing something that will help the environment. Far better than trying to be more healthy – that kinda went out the window yesterday morning when I ate 6 Spiced Blueberry Panacakes for breakfast, which I covered with icing sugar (not so bad on sugarless pancakes), vanilla yogurt (quite good) and half a bottle of maple syrup (ooops!).
Wait, blueberry is a super food right? Maybe I can still keep my ‘be more healthy in 20’ resolution then!
OK maybe not.