Making Recycled Bird Seed Feeders with the Youth Group

Last Thursday OPWP held an event with Young People’s Workers at the Orchard Community Centre for the local youth group to make seed feeders from bottles. Some of the bottles had been collected during the scout’s recent litter pick. We demonstrated how to make the feeders and repurpose the bottles and how to fill them with a mix of seeds and suet (it stays in a bit better if suet is heated and added to the seed mix – just make the opening a little larger than suggested in the instructions below). We also had some bird books on hand to show the types of birds the feeders are likely to attract locally.

Many thanks for giving us the opportunity to work with you, and we look forward to the events we’ve planned for the summer: making the bug hotel, and getting everything going with the raised beds 🙂

Click on the links below for information on making seed feeders:

RSPB Instructions for making seed feeders

And for the seedy suet mix see the Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Watch activity sheet:

seed suet mix

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Birds on the Busway

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Waxwing feeding along the busway near the Science Park bus stop

On Thursday I heard that a museum (that’s their collective noun) of Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulous) had been seen on the busway near the Science Park busway stop. I woke early this morning and decided I’d go along to see if I could find them.

On the way in the cold and mist I saw around ten nests from last year in the hedge, robins, blackbirds, goldfinches, magpies, pied wagtails, blue tits, great tits, and squirrels.

Then as the Science Park busway stop came into view, I spotted a group of birds with crests on their heads, and thought that must be them. I stopped to  look more closely, and yes, there were about 15-20 feeding.

They’re not permanent residents here, but every three or four years when food is scarce in Scandinavia they arrive along the east coast from October to March moving inland in search of berries, particularly rowan and hawthorn. These birds, similar to Starlings in size, come in large numbers known as irruptions.

I was expecting them to be quite noisy, but I didn’t hear any sounds. The video by the RSPB  shows them feeding noisily.

Video of Waxwings from RSPB website

2017 and RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

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Image credit: RSPB

OPWP is working with the OP Community Council and others to create our activity plan for 2017. We will announce the activities soon.

In the meantime, to get going with wild fun this year, why not take part in the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch, it’s the world’s largest wildlife survey and happening on 28-30 January.

Click here to request a free pack from the RSPB to get you started.

Click here to download a free pack.

The packs offer food ideas, activities, bird identification guides and a calendar showing all types of wildlife, not just birds, that you’re likely to see each month from January until December.

It would be great to hear what you see around Orchard Park during the birdwatch – use the form below to let us know.

During this cold and wet weather, I’ve had more Blackbirds than usual in my garden. Although I see Pied Wagtails regularly around Orchard Park, they’re not normally visitors to my garden, but I’ve seen a couple hopping around this last week. I’ve put some extra food out, hopefully something suitable for most visitors, and I need to make sure I’ve replenished my stock of food for Robins in time for the Birdwatch. The wider the variety of food you offer, the wider variety of birds you’ll attract.

Big Garden Birdwatch 25-26 January 2014

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is coming up on 25-26 January 2014

I took part last year. All it needs is for you to watch the birds in your garden or local green space for one hour during the Birdwatch weekend. See the link below to register and for more details. The RSPB have created apps to make counting birds (and any other animals you see) easy.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/?gclid=CKHz8NfS-LsCFZLKtAodyxMANw

From the RSPB: Just one in five UK children ‘connected to nature’, groundbreaking study finds

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/355439-just-one-in-five-UK-children-connected-to-nature-groundbreaking-study-finds?utm_medium=website&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=connection&utm_campaign=pr

A three-year research project, undertaken by the RSPB, found that only 21 per cent of children in the UK have a level of connection to nature that can be considered ‘realistic and achievable’ for all children. The report’s findings will be released at an event at the Houses of Parliament tonight [16 October]. Click on the link above for more information.