It's that time of year, at the weekend the nest boxes were cleaned out and the winter feeders (which were cleaned a month or more ago) were refilled. Although there's been some food available all summer, mostly peanuts and some lower energy seed mixes in a few scattered feeders around the garden the arrival of the winter feeders brought the birds out. As usual the feeders went out a couple of weeks ago for the birds to get used to them again, on Friday there was a little cole tit investigating every port on the sunflower feeder. A clear indication that it's time to get some 'real' food out there. Over the weekend new sacks of nuts, sunflower hearts, hi-energy feed and niger seed were opened and their contents used to fill the various feeders. Since then the garden has been full of birdlife and the feeders need refilling every other day or less, I can see that we'll have to invest in some bigger ones – and some stronger brackets too! We're trying wax worms again but so far no takers, the robin seems perfectly happy with sunflowers.
Our species lists for visitors to the feeders so far is: cole tit (in greater numbers than blue & great), blue tit, great tit, chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch (more numerous than the other finches), song thrush, blackbird, collared dove, wood pigeon, nuthatch (at least two, possibly three), robin, dunnock, house sparrow, tree sparrow (on the nut feeder less than a foot outside the office window, brilliant!), greater spotted woodpecker (very confused). We have also seen wrens and gold crests in the garden but not on the feeders. The long tailed tits have been heard but seen. Siskins are conspicuous in the absence, they'll arrive later, we hope. The winter migratory geese have been flying over head in huge skeins heading south, one numbering about 150 – 200.
Stop Press: we can add a female yellowhammer to the list os species visiting the feeders.