Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are having fantastic days spent celebrating however you prefer. Today is the start of the Wildlife Trusts 12 Days Of Christmas. For 12 Days from the 25th December to the 5th of January, I will be looking for different ways to engage with nature. These can be little things like feeding the birds, going for a walk in nature or admiring the winter sunset. It’s not too late to sign up to show your support for nature. Go on the website, sign up, it’s free, and you’ll be added to the map.
As today I imagine many you will be overwhelmed with commitments I am suggesting an act of wild that you can do from the comfort of your own sofa while waiting for visitors. During the weekend of the 25th January to the 27th of January, it is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. For one hour you sit and watch the birds and record what comes in. It is free to take part and you don’t need to be an RSPB member. This survey provides valuable information about the increases and decreases in bird populations so conservation efforts can be targetted.
I’ve taken part the last few years and have usually found my garden just manages double figures of species. Last year was a bit low with building work going on and wet weather. The builders still have some jobs to come back to a year on so they may have people in and out in the run-up to it. But in order to maximize the birds that come into your garden, I have a few tips.
- Put out a variety of foods: seed, suet, fat balls, mealworms or meat scraps. Different birds favour different food.
- Use feeders at different heights. Some birds such as the blackbirds eat from the ground, some like the feeders in cover near shrubs, others need more space around the feeder.
- Clean the feeders beforehand. This stops the spread of diseases between birds.
- Provide water sources in the garden. During winter water is often frozen so the birds will come in for water as much as food.
Enjoy your Christmas Days and I hope you all have wonderful days.