Sparrow Salad

  • In reply to edgebander:

    CBs are limited to a fairly small area of Torbay, less than 5 miles away from me but they haven't found my garden yet. Reed buntings have, but not cirls. EB you cannot put a tent on my lawn as it will scare the birds, but there is a field just beyond which you are welcome to use. Bring finches, my numbers are well down this year apart from golds.

    I did post in ask an expert about my declining chaffinches but didn't get an answer. I had about 3 pairs a couple of months back, now just one female. So probably no baby chaffinches this year. Hopefully they will recover.

  • In reply to No Name:

    There have also been several reports of papilloma virus affecting the Chaffies' feet - some quite badly - I have just started to get regular visits from a male over the last couple of weeks which arrived when we had the snow & for two or three days now there is a female in the garden several times a day.

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Not noticed any foot problems but have just read up on finch disease and the symptoms fit a sick chaffie I found the other day. I shall have to be extra careful about hygiene. I had just cleaned all my feeders but I think I'd better do the table and all the perches more regularly too. I know a lot of people who simply never clean their feeders and it makes me angry because they could be harming more birds than they help.

  • In reply to No Name:

    Sorry to hear that the disease is still around, was hoping it had died out by now & I agree with you re hygiene, so very important when we are lucky to have so many garden visitors!

    I have two of each kind of feeder so can swap them about & give a good deep clean.

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    I think a lot of people don't realise that attracting lots of birds to their garden can cause diseases to spread more rapidly. A few years back I went on a crusade to get plastic nets banned, writing to manufacturers and retailers about the risks. I think I shall do the same with hygiene, asking them to make people more aware of the need for cleanliness. We are often asked by people on TV to feed birds, but rarely do they explain that it is not something to take lightly. I feel responsible for the birds I feed, they are part of the family!

  • In reply to No Name:

    Sam, I do so agree with you! It's a passion with me! As a lot of people only feed in winter, I sometimes put a letter in the local paper, about November time, with a gentle reminder. Along the lines of ' would you eat off a plate you hadn't washed for 6 months?!' with reasons why feeders/water dishes need cleaning. Perhaps later this year we could all do a mass 'write in'!

  • In reply to Rose Marsh:

    Hi Rose, yes we should all write to everybody who promotes feeding asking them to highlight the importance of feeding. Imagine the irony if all we are doing is killing off the birds we feed.

  • I have also observed house sparrows eating dandelion leaves in my garden in the extreme southwest of Norway in November, despite there being access to food in the bird feeder. The winters here are quite mild, not unlike many parts of the UK. The dandelions can often grow throughout the winter.