Dan’s Great Bird Food Experiment 2022 – The Diary

Our intrepid bird feed experimenter and Head Buyer, Dan Hume, is back with the latest update from his back garden.

If you missed the start of Dan’s Great Bird Food Experiment – The Return, read about it here.

Week 1: Saturday 12th Feb

As always with annual leave it goes far too quickly.  The weather has been fair and I have to admit is has been a slow start to the birds migrating back into the garden.  The first few days, hardly a bird to be seen.

Towards the end of the week, although windy, it picks up with a pair of Collared Doves and Sparrows mainly feeding on the Peckish Seed Mix.  The Blackbirds are also about ground feeding under the stations, picking up what has been dropped.

I am chuffed to my see my favourites, the Blue Tits, are back.  They are preferring the peanuts and fat balls.  They seem to be going for the high energy feeds.

End of Week Summary of Results:

Peckish Complete – both feeders over half eaten – by volume the number 1 feed.

Peanuts – very popular with the Blue Tits, only about 1 ½” eaten, however it’s been pecked all around the feeder.

Fat Balls: Quarter of all consumed.  A definite draw for the birds.

Calci-worms – reduced down by 2in.  Hopefully eaten, but not witnessed as yet, it has been windy and they are light.

Sunflower Hearts – About 1in has been eaten. Sparrows mainly.

Nyger Seed – It has gone down, but only by an inch or so.

Week 2: Sat 19th Feb

In the week before the storms, I have been a work, but my wife has spotted more Robins (and no I still have not been able to get a photo of it), Sparrows, Wood Pigeons, Blackbirds, masses of Starlings and Blue Tits.  The volume and frequency of the birds has definitely increased, but nothing more “exotic” yet. The local squirrel also paid us a visit which drove the cats insane, it may well have been scared off.

The Peckish Complete continues to be the core of the feed, the fat balls are very popular and the Calciworms have picked up due to the starlings.

Storm Eunice hit later in the week.  Luckily the fence stood, but all the feeders were blown to the ground losing a lot of the feeds.  Thankfully, there was no damage, so a quick refill and we are back in business.

Week 3: Sat 26th Feb

The weather is supposed to be superb this weekend, so a great opportunity to monitor the bird stations and get some photos.  The feeders are all cleaned & topped up Saturday morning.  It is getting lighter in the mornings so I get up early on Sunday morning – definitely the best time to watch while it is quiet in the house and the garden.

The first on the scene are the Wood Pigeons. Some people do not like them, but I think they are majestic.  What I would say is they have an appetite! The pair of them have consumed half a feeder in a couple of hours.  Not that it matters, there is plenty more, all are welcome.

It does not take long before the Sparrows come along, attracted by the Pigeons.  It starts with just one brave bird, then one more, before long the stations is full of them, a “Quarrel of Sparrows” (Had to look up the collective) and it’s true, they do tend to bicker with each other and suddenly get spooked and fly off all at the same time.

With delight, the Blue Tits are darting around the garden.  They have a routine of approach to the feeders.  They fly over and perch on the Acer, once they know it’s safe, then speed onto the feeder, dance around a bit, grab the food and fly off always in the same direction.  I have noticed that the Blue Tits have changed their preference from the peanuts over to sunflower hearts.  The volume of the sunflower hearts being consumed has also increased.

We think the Blue Tits are surveying the Nest Box that I put up last year.  I would love them to nest in the garden.

End of Week: Summary of Results

Peckish Complete – both feeders nearly empty, continues to be the most consumed feed.

Sunflower Hearts – Half the feeder empty. Big increase.

Peanuts – 2.5in consumed, still going strong

Calciworms – All gone.  Pigeons & Starlings love them!

Nyger Seed – Slow uptake, going, but very slowly.

Don’t forget to keep checking back for the next instalment coming soon!