WELCOME TO OUR ‘BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH’
Well it has been officially annouced that it has been the coldest March since 1962, the year I was born no less. We have seen temps and wind chills plumiting down to -6 to -11 brrrrr. So we have being keeping up with our Winter High Protein Mix in the Treat tray which they empty every couple of days or so and the new Window bird feeder is a total success indeed.
Meanwhile we have ordered a second Window bird feeder for the Left Window Bird Feeding Station, and a box of 10 x Ceareal ‘n’ Seed Coconut Treats for our local Long-Tain Tits and Great Spotted Woodpecker, their favourite treat. Also, we ordered this week a 3kg bag of Nyjer seed, to mix with the other bird food.
Environmentally, we have 900 yards of beautifull Beech Trees running along-side our small suburban housing estate and at the back of our block of flats. There are still brown leaves on the trees in the first week of April which should not be. Usually at this time there should be an abundance of fresh green leaves flurishing in the spring breeze and beautiful sunshine, getting ready for April showers.
Instead, the seasons seemed to have slowed down immensely. With a further cold snap heading our way from Scandinavia and Russia, where the cold is disrupting the gulf stream which is stopping the warm air from rising up towards the Uk. Which in turn has completely disrupted the growing seasons, and for the wildlife is a nightmare, so many wildlife have given birth and their babes killed with the freezing and cold weather and heavy snow in March across the UK. The food chain is bare, non-existent and suffering badly. The Cherry blossom is normally in full bloom by now. The buds in the trees are being eaten by the pigeons ans squirrels and other birds and wildlife, is crazy.
Recently I was sent my usual RSPB Newsletter, which included an article saying that our gardens we keep in our back yards are now so important to our local wildlife and winged feathered friends. It is so important to keep part of our gardens wild to attract the wildlife and keep our bird feeding stations topped up with a high protein bird food feeder mix and winter high protein treat mixes. I hope some of my own recipes are useful to you please write them down and share them. Also, planting wildflowers to attract bees and butterflies wether you have a balcony, window box, a small patio.
We live in a first floor flat and we have our window bird feeding station and our bedroom has become our ‘Hide’ and we watch our local bird and wildlife. This is also why it is imperitive that we all continue our ‘Big Garden Watch’ and ‘Homes for Wildlife’ with the RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds) and BTO (British Trust of Ornithology) check out their websites.
To set a seed of thought that if there are no insects, bees, butterflies and birds to pollinate there will be no crops, no food on our table. These last two years, growng seasons have been non-existent. This year due to the unusually cold weather this spring it has been to cold for planting and seeding even though the temps are slowly creeping up to 7 degrees is still not warm enough to sow seed and plant out. Praying for the warmer weather to grace us.
HOMEMADE RECYCLED COCONUT TREATS
BUGS N’ BITS & SEEDS
When your Coconut Treats have come to their end, most of the fat and cereals have been pecked out, then take the coconut down and scrape any remaining fat and cereal out from the shell and put in a medium sized bowl.
In the bowl add approx: 5oz good quality beef suet or lard and heated it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes or so until melted.
Then add at least a couple of tablespoons of a High Protein Bird Feeder Mix (ie: White Dari, Suet pellets, Hempseed, Chopped Peanuts, Red Dari, Red Millet, Sunflower Hearts, Canary seed, Japanese Millet, Naked Oats, Nijer seeds), and about 2 tablespoons of crushed Bugs ‘n’ Bits (ie: Dried Mealworms, Water flies and River Shrimps. Or just Dried Mealworms). (I put the dried bug ‘n’ bits in a pestle and motar and lightly crushed them).
Stir in all the seeds, cereals, grains, dried bug ‘n’ bits into the melted fat and suet.
Firstly, using the original hanging string, make sure both ends are knotted well, and thread through the loop in the hole as above, and place the empty shell in a medium sized cereal bowl and making sure it in level in the bowl.
There will be a little of the fat that will leak trough the hole is with the string through which will hold it in place, when you rest the empty shell in the bowl.
Next, then you spoon the mixture into the shell to the top, making sure is level.
Then put it in a level place in the freeer and leave overnight to set.
Morning comes and take the bowl out of the freezer. Break up the solidified fat at the bottom of bowl, and leave for the next one.
Put the set Coconut on a saucer on the window sill for a couple of hours at room temperature and hang your recycled Bugs ‘n’ Bits Coconut Treat up on your bird feeding station or your birds favourite feeding tree and sit back watch the Long-Tailed Tits enjoy their new treat.
Our test will be ‘Woody’ our local “Great Spotted Woodpecker” who loves his Coconut Treats.
Written by Lizzie & Joshua Christian. Copyrighted (c) 08/04/2013