Bring wildlife to new garden


I’m new to the site. 
I moved to a new house last year. Our last house backed on to woods and had a large garden. I have taken part in the bird watch for the last 3 years and always spotted wonderful birds. I have very few in this garden. I put out bird feed last month with small success. 
How do I encourage a greater variety of bird and insects? 

  • Hello Mairi, firstly welcome to the forum from Caithness up at the very top of Scotland. We are a friendly lot and have great banter, you will see lovely photos and read interest posts, enjoy.

    To get the birds in the garden requires a combination of things. It is best to have some trees, shrubs, bushes, these can be used for birds to have cover from predators animals and the Sparrowhawk, also some birds like to take food and go into cover to eat it. You can also hang feeders in these. You do not have to have lots of feeders with different things in them, so you could start with a couple of things and see what you may get, then try something different. I feed bird seed, peanuts (in feeders and scattered just now, but always in feeders in the breeding season) sunflower hearts, Niger seed and fat balls, cakes and suet pieces. Always scatter some under the feeders, bushes, paving etc for birds that do not feed from hanging feeders. Always keep everything clean, feeders and the area around them.

    If you don't have greenery, plant up some quick growing things in tubs, planters, boxes and they can be placed around the garden along side fences, up against walls, until you get time to maybe plan your garden. Another thing to have available is water, bird baths. These do not have to be fancy ones with bases, you could to start with get something simple like shallow dishes, basins, bowls, boxes, not too deep, this will allow them to bath and drink. Keep them clean as well. You can put up some bird boxes, now would be a good time so that the birds can have a place to roost in on the cold windy, wet nights and then they will know where they are and they may get used in the Spring for breeding.

    As far as wildlife, you can plant specific plants for butterflies and bees, have a Google and you will find lots of choices. You could have a corner with old pieces of wood, cut logs, twigs, leaves, moss and you may attract hedgehogs.

    Just some ideas for you and I am sure others will be along and can add to what I have said. Good luck, keep us posted and enjoy.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hi Catlady,

    Thanks for the reply and some great ideas!
    I have a few Laural trees and some very small new shrubs
    I have noticed the Robin goes off to the Laurel tree after it’s been to the bird feeder.
    I’ve got a great ‘to do list’ now thanks again .
  • Hi Mairi, I read your other post and realise you are starting from scratch, so you have lots to do! Good luck, great you have a Robin, that is a start.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hey Mairi, and welcome from Dorset, As well as the brilliant thoughts from Catlady, the other thing you'll need is patience! Birds can be fickle regarding changes to the habitat, but they will get used to the changes that are made. We moved to our current house in March last year, and it wasn't until late summer that we were getting more than house sparrows and starlings on a regular basis. We now have blackbirds, goldfinch, collared doves, a pair of coal tits. dunnock and robins alongside the starlings and sparrows :o)
  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    As our Linda would say PB, " Och a forgot ta say aboot havin plenty o patience"!

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    Hello PimperneBloke,

    Thankyou for the welcome.
    Yes, I think I expected to see the same birds as in my previous house! Interesting it took the birds a few months, that’s encouraging to know.
    I’ve bought some suet and a bird house and I’ve got plenty seeds for the feeders. Hopefully I will get some new visitors.
  • In reply to Catlady:

    Hi Catlady,

    Yes I’m starting from zero! As in the garden and my knowledge on my feathered friends :)
    I’ve always loved watching birds and hearing them. So the plan is to support them in my area and hopefully gain a bit more knowledge on what’s flying around me!
  • In reply to Mairi Turquoise:

    Mairi Turquoise said:
    plenty seeds for the feeders

    Sunflower Hearts seem to be the order of the day here, all the birds here eat them, and little suet pellets :o)

  • Hi PimperneBloke,

    Great tips thank you!
    I’m awaiting my order of bird feed from RSPB then I’m raring to go! :) 

  • Adrian Thomas is RSPB staff and writes a lot about wildlife gardening. Plenty of his advice and tips are on this site.