Where have all the birds gone.

ohanzee

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I stopped using the wild bird mix for that reason. The small birds just threw out all the oats and all that did was attract pigeons and made a right mess, changed to sunflower hearts and the garden has lots of small birds, including Gold Finches that we haven't had in years, and less pigeons. I also have peanuts but that only gets eaten if the sunflower hearts run out, we then loose the Goldfinches until I fill the sunflower hearts back up :)

The pigeons didn't touch it either:( I don't normally shop in Asda, back to pound stretcher for some quality.
 

Fishtales

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The pigeons didn't touch it either:( I don't normally shop in Asda, back to pound stretcher for some quality.
I get mine from here.

Sunflower Hearts 12.75Kg.

Peanuts 5Kg.
 

hutch6

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Far too many corvids knocking about these days for any real increase in songbird numbers. Been a big decline in the annual culls and the change in the general licence has only amplified this.
Pretty sure this wasn't the effect Packham et al wanted but it was inevitable.
Restriction and protection combined with loss of habitat and extra resources is always going to be a recipe for disaster.
 

noel

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Just bought some Sunflower hearts to see if that may get the birds interested.
 

BobP

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Far too many corvids knocking about these days for any real increase in songbird numbers. Been a big decline in the annual culls and the change in the general licence has only amplified this.
Pretty sure this wasn't the effect Packham et al wanted but it was inevitable.
Restriction and protection combined with loss of habitat and extra resources is always going to be a recipe for disaster.

You think he cares about the small birds? He doesn't give a stuff about them. All he's interested in is attacking the shooting community.
 

tenet

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Yes we have changed the Nijer seeds but still no Goldfinches. Sunflower hearts get changed as well as the feeder being cleaned and disinfected but very few birds being attracted. A theory put to me was that the early spring in 2020 saw bugs and caterpillars in abundance before eggs hatched thus higher mortality than usual.There were certainly more Butterflies last year than I've seen for a long time. Also agree with the fact that there is greater predation from Corvids.
Neighbours are experiencing the same so all a mystery given the high numbers we used to get.
 

Fishtales

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The numbers and species on our feeders rise and fall daily, monthly and yearly and a walk in the woods usually finds two or three large flocks of small birds moving through the trees every winter. Sparrow seem to be in short supply this year as there has only been the odd one in the garden this winter although there were dozens in the summer :)
 

BobP

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There has been a fairly constant number of sparrows in my garden for several years now. A regular bunch of around 2 dozen. What has been in short supply this year has been chaffinches. quite a few last year and very few this. Robins are around and there are plenty of starlings which beat up the feeders. I've only seen one or two goldfinches this winter where there were as many as six at a time most days last winter.

We had a greater spotted woodpecker visit once early in the winter raising my hopes that it would be a regular, but he must just have been passing through.

If farmers and local councils continue to thrash the life out of hedgerows with flail mowers every year thinning out the trees and bushes and reducing the nest sites it is small wonder that songbird populations continue to fall. The sooner Gov't removes grants for "hedgerow management" from farmers the sooner the bird numbers will increase.
 

wrongfoot

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[...] The sooner Gov't removes grants for "hedgerow management" from farmers the sooner the bird numbers will increase.
Do you not wonder if there are not grants for hedgrow management that the hedge will be replaced with wire and post fencing pretty quickly? I do.
 

glueman

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Hedges are cut every other year except on road sides when it is every year to remove obstruction to sight lines etc. Hedge management also includes replanting dead sections of hedge and gap filling. Bobp I don't think you understand what goes on and have been watching too much Packham
 

Fishtales

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I don't see how trimming hedges reduces nest sites. My hedge and the ones round about, in the middle of a town, get trimmed a few times a year and yet there are birds nesting in some of them every year, Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin even a Wren, but these are the residents, they don't allow any interlopers and even the Male Robin chases the Male Dunnock around trying to make him leave :)
 

glueman

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Plenty of small birds in my garden and flying in and out of the field hedge opposite. But then my garden at the rear backs onto "barren" farmland
 

BobP

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Hedges are cut every other year except on road sides when it is every year to remove obstruction to sight lines etc. Hedge management also includes replanting dead sections of hedge and gap filling. Bobp I don't think you understand what goes on and have been watching too much Packham
No, I watch what goes on in my backyard and understand perfectly - better than you I suspect. There is - was rather - a hedge along a byway where I walk my dogs every morning. It was comprised mostly of fairly large hawthorn trees up to about 20' high and was set back around 2-3 metres from the track. In February 2019 the farmer had this cut down for the length of well over 800 metres down to about 1.5 metres. No earthly reason for it as it was not interfering in anything. There used to be robins, chaffinches and yellowhammers nesting there. Nothing nests there now. Silent Spring.

To compound the problem what does the d*ckhead farmer do in January 2020? He gets his flail mower out and goes & gives what's left another good bashing. That's 11 months, glueman, not two years.

I understand perfectly what goes on. He gets a grant for hedgerow management and if it isn't spent and preferably overspent by the end of the financial year he won't get it again. There are several gaps in the hedge so why isn't he spending some of the hedgerow management fund on planting up to fill those gaps? I'm really quite glad he hasn't because that would only have resulted in a lot more plastic being dumped into the environment.

Glueman writes about replacing dead sections of hedge. How do they get dead in the first place? They get dead because some a*se beats the life out of them with a flail mower. People on here have gone on about how rabbits and deer kill young trees by chewing the bark, or it the case of deer, thrashing against the tree to remove the velvet from its antlers. Contrary to popular opinion this does not always kill the tree. A walk through any patch of woodland will show young trees where deer have been removing the velvet and the tree is still there growing away. Next time anyone sees a flail mower at work go & take a look at what has been done. It won't be a light trim, that is for certain. There will be large branches ripped apart probably because the guy in the driving seat just loves to see shards of wood flying.

There is another track that I walk on every morning now since Farmer decided to make the original byway all but impassable so he can dump his manure pile in the adjacent field. Along that track there are a few remnant hawthorn bushes. There are about a dozen spread out along the track over about 500 metres. Even those odd individual bushes get the treatment. WHY? What is the point other than to make work and claim the money. It is a waste of time and diesel to go along there, so there must be a very good reason for it and income is the reason.

There are undoubtedly many good farmers, but equally there are a good few that are blo*dy awful and don't give a toss for the environment. As they all receive money from the public purse - our taxes - then I think we are entitled to be certain that the money is being used properly, and if not, should be withdrawn.

If glueman is so certain I don't know what I'm talking about then let him get down here as soon as this Covid cr*p is over and I'll show him. Failing that he can pm me his email and I'll send him a photo or two.
 

glueman

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No, I watch what goes on in my backyard and understand perfectly - better than you I suspect. There is - was rather - a hedge along a byway where I walk my dogs every morning. It was comprised mostly of fairly large hawthorn trees up to about 20' high and was set back around 2-3 metres from the track. In February 2019 the farmer had this cut down for the length of well over 800 metres down to about 1.5 metres. No earthly reason for it as it was not interfering in anything. There used to be robins, chaffinches and yellowhammers nesting there. Nothing nests there now. Silent Spring.

To compound the problem what does the d*ckhead farmer do in January 2020? He gets his flail mower out and goes & gives what's left another good bashing. That's 11 months, glueman, not two years.

I understand perfectly what goes on. He gets a grant for hedgerow management and if it isn't spent and preferably overspent by the end of the financial year he won't get it again. There are several gaps in the hedge so why isn't he spending some of the hedgerow management fund on planting up to fill those gaps? I'm really quite glad he hasn't because that would only have resulted in a lot more plastic being dumped into the environment.

Glueman writes about replacing dead sections of hedge. How do they get dead in the first place? They get dead because some a*se beats the life out of them with a flail mower. People on here have gone on about how rabbits and deer kill young trees by chewing the bark, or it the case of deer, thrashing against the tree to remove the velvet from its antlers. Contrary to popular opinion this does not always kill the tree. A walk through any patch of woodland will show young trees where deer have been removing the velvet and the tree is still there growing away. Next time anyone sees a flail mower at work go & take a look at what has been done. It won't be a light trim, that is for certain. There will be large branches ripped apart probably because the guy in the driving seat just loves to see shards of wood flying.

There is another track that I walk on every morning now since Farmer decided to make the original byway all but impassable so he can dump his manure pile in the adjacent field. Along that track there are a few remnant hawthorn bushes. There are about a dozen spread out along the track over about 500 metres. Even those odd individual bushes get the treatment. WHY? What is the point other than to make work and claim the money. It is a waste of time and diesel to go along there, so there must be a very good reason for it and income is the reason.

There are undoubtedly many good farmers, but equally there are a good few that are blo*dy awful and don't give a toss for the environment. As they all receive money from the public purse - our taxes - then I think we are entitled to be certain that the money is being used properly, and if not, should be withdrawn.

If glueman is so certain I don't know what I'm talking about then let him get down here as soon as this Covid cr*p is over and I'll show him. Failing that he can pm me his email and I'll send him a photo or two.
Dear rubbing on trees,rabbits nibbling new growth and squirrel damage kill hedgerows,so do cars ploughing holes in it. Ask the forestry commission or consult a country man not your farmer knocking.
 

glueman

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After you have done all your farmer bashing it is farmers that enable you to go fishing as it is their land you walk over and stand on. Be careful what you wish for. I doubt that JLR will let you onto their premises to wave a rod round
 

BobP

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Dear rubbing on trees,rabbits nibbling new growth and squirrel damage kill hedgerows,so do cars ploughing holes in it. Ask the forestry commission or consult a country man not your farmer knocking.

Oh, so according to you a rabbit nibbling a hedgerow bush will kill it whereas a flail mower beating the cr*p out of it won't. You must have rabbits the size of water buffalo round your way.

A car ploughing, as you put it, into a hedgerow is the result of an accident not a deliberate act, or at any rate it isn't down here. What goes on along the banks of the A5 could be different.

I was brought up on a fruit farm in Surrey. We went there when I was 5 and the orchard was quite new. Certainly only about three years, and it was my father's job to bring that 10 acre orchard into full production in which over the next 40 years he was very successful. The orchard wasn't fenced and so anything could wander in. There were deer about, not as many as nowadays admittedly, but still 10 acres of nice young apples and pear trees would have been an irresistible magnet to every happy roebuck for miles around.

So, how many of those nice young trees did we lose due to deer? In fact how many did we lose over the years on that orchard and a new 6 acre orchard that my father planted just a half mile up the road AND a further 10 acre orchard that was purchased some 30 miles away. That one was fenced but a 3 legged deer could hop over it without trying. The answer is none. We never lost a single tree and in 26 acres there were thousands of them. I should know, I cut the grass around most of them and picked the fruit off a hell of a lot as well.

What was that rubbish you were talking about? Consulting a countryman wasn't it?
 

Hardrar

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We lost a few sections of hedges 3 summers back with the intense Summer heat, mainly plumb East West attitude ones-facing the Sun. some will be from the original enclosures and centuries old. They don’t get over flailed, as most local land owners are in HLS schemes- so every third year clipping. Regular clipping, keeps them dense and gives the passerines more protection from Corvids raptors foxes etc
We have 50+ goldies come in when I feed Sunflower hearts, but have to limit this, or we get 50-100 pheasants piling in, which also dig up the lawns and start eating the plants. They don’t seem to be so keen on peanuts.
 
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