Whats going on down on the Farm?
Coming and going?
Migration isn’t just about birds moving continents, did you know that some birds migrate vertically – this means that they might move from uplands to milder lowlands for the Winter where food is more plentiful e.g. skylarks, meadow pipits and snow buntings. Even the Blackbirds we see in our gardens in January might be visiting from Eastern Europe. The most famous birds that most people know of that migrate are swallows who fly to Africa for the winter and there are birds that only winter here including lots of types of ducks and geese, fieldfares, redwings and whooper swans.
The birds that stay here for the winter need our help and here’s a few for you to look out for on your feeder, bird table or in your garden. Number one is the robin, recently voted Britain’s national bird, a special favourite here as it’s our daughter’s name too; different spelling but I loved the name. Next come chaffinches, Goldfinches, Bullfinches, Blue tits, Goldcrests and Dunnocks, and not forgetting the sparrows too
It isn’t only birds who need to prepare for Winter, those of us with gardens need to clear leaves and dead plants too, BUT some plants and weeds can benefit the birds and it’s a known fact that if you feed birds in Winter , then you will be repaid in the Spring as they will stay around, possibly breed too and you will be rewarded with amazing birds in your garden all year round, plus the larger birds will feast on slugs and snails and the smaller birds will control aphids and greenfly during the summer months, what a way to repay you for all of that food in winter.
Thistles are a great source of food for smaller birds so if you have any in your borders or on your compost heap please don’t get rid of them, smaller finches love to eat thistle seeds – did you know that Niger/Nyjer seed is thistle seed, grown in India and the Far East? We do stock it in our shop but maybe you’ve grown your own! If not here’s a link to buy your Niger seed from our online shop.