Our wildlife survival outpost is attracting the usual eclectic mix of characters at the moment. From the locals (the Blue Tit Group, the Great Tit, Robin, Nuthatches and Squirrels) to our visitors from -further afield (a family flock of Long-Tailed Tits and the occasional Jay) we have a thriving community of creatures that we are looking after.
This all starts with the feeders which are fat ball holders and coconut halves; high fat and high energy content with a wide array of foods for most bird-types (including seeds, insects and fruits). This ensures a balance of nutrition which is especially important during this time of year. We also have two water baths to give drinking/bathing water to our furry/feathered friends as (especially in freezing conditions) water is scarce. I have, in recent years, experimented with a lot of different feeders and foodstuffs and have found out that birds are as fussy as humans (nuthatches in particular!) and will root around loose seeds to find the ones they like – scattering the rest about the garden which then attracts rats (especially if you are backing onto farmland like we are!).
My current combination of fatballs and fatball feeders with trays seems to be keeping mess to a minimum which will hopefully deter any unwanted pests. However, it is not just the larger creatures I am concerned with as I am beginning to make additional bee-hotels and am planning on planting a buddleia in the garden. My main concern here is that of spiders – last year they webbed up most of the hotel spaces and captured many of the insects wanting to use them. I am considering how to spider proof this new set but am very unsure on how to proceed…