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Section:Beyond the Garden
Get ready for the influx…
15th October 2013
Although our hedgerows are currently bursting with fruit and berries, the surplus food will not last.
A British autumn is an unpredictable thing, on 26th October 2012 a large area of the UK woke up to sub-zero temperatures and snow in many areas. Roll forward to 2013 and the picture is quite different. Mild temperatures and plenty of food in the hedgerow and a happy and content population of birds.
However, as always change is just around the corner. We’re already getting reports from around the country that large numbers of redwings, fieldfares and bramblings among many are arriving on our shores and just because we’ve had a good autumn, this is not true for all other countries. Tens of thousands of birds are arriving on our shores and spreading across the countryside, eating as they go, quickly depleting the natural food resources before moving on.
Birds choosing to spend their winters in the UK such as fieldfares, bramblings, not to mention many common garden species such as finches are coming in from Scandinavia, and the redwings from as far afield as Russia, all due to the comparatively mild climate compared to what they would have to endure at home.
Many of us notice a distinct lull in the number of birds visiting feeders in early autumn, however – this is about to change. With so many bird species coming in from colder climes, the natural food supply will quickly dwindle as the weather worsens, our numerous foreign visitors as well as our own native birds will become much more reliant upon the famous generosity of the British bird feeder.
Stocking up for the winter is never a bad idea for ourselves let alone our feathered friends. It is always nice to have a little put away for that rainy (or hailing, or snowy) day. Unfortunately our birds do not have the opportunity to plan ahead and so it is down to us to give them that little extra they need as the winter draws in. Whatever the weather, the birds still manage to make it to our feeders when they are hungry. We on the other hand, cannot rely on the UK transport system to be as reliable when the weather shows it’s true winter colours.