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Floods & Finches

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What a week weather wise! I don’t know if you’ve had floods, freezing temperatures, driving wind & rain where you live, but we certainly have up here in Northumberland. The crops are soggy and battered whereas last year they were droughted off and suffering with extreme heat. We’re hoping that the weather will stabilise a little this week so we can make our haylage crop for Winter horse fodder for our Livery stables, but there again we hoped we could do that three weeks ago.

The gardens are so green & the water baths for the birds most definitely have not needed filling, although the keeping the feeders filled has been a constant job. I’ve been watching soggy little sparrows just out of the nest lining up at our bird table (thankfully a covered one) being shown by the adult where the easiest grub is. The poor birds were struggling to fly and apparently lots of baby birds were at risk with the extreme cold and wet. Let’s hope that the worst is over, and the temperatures improve for the birds as well as us farmers.

Our feeders have been visited by more finches than ever this year, we’ve had greenfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, and my favourite: the bullfinches. At one time we had three male bullfinches at the bird table and on the feeder, looking magnificent with their red chests and black heads. They are so lovely to look at although it has taken several attempts to get a photo as they’re notoriously shy and flighty. I did get a photo, but it was blurred as Jeffrey the cat had marked all the window with his ‘cat art’. When he needs to come in the house, he jumps us and waves to us from outside, so marking all my kitchen windows. Maybe I should get a cat flap, but my argument for not getting one is that if Jeffrey has a mouse, I can refuse him entry to the house but if we had a cat flap he would already be in the house with his soggy prey!

I’m using a mixture of high energy bird foods at the minute, plus sunflower hearts to give the birds an easy boost of energy during these testing conditions, it seems to be keeping everyone happy and lets hope for some sunshine to keep us humans happy too.



Have you got a bully in your garden?
Is the grass always greener?

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