Feeding birds can be quite fascinating

If you appreciate the presence of garden birds and want to help them through the winter, this is a good time to set up a feeding station.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 12:56 pm
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 11:22 am
The chaffinch and other feathered friends need your help. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Some gardeners do it year-round, whilst others step in when natural food sources become scarce.

Observation of their approach to different food types is fascinating when the station is sighted near a window. Look for competition within a single species (intra-specific) and between different species (inter-specific). I always thought the robin reigned supreme until a mistle thrush turned up and cleared the decks.

Ornamental trees and hardy shrubs add so much interest to a garden throughout the year, but this critical period leading into winter is when they have my full attention.

It’s not just the flowers, foliage, bark and fruits variously presented by different species to brighten up an otherwise dark season, but the lifeline they offer the local bird population.

Hardy hedges of beech, hawthorn, holly and privet surround the garden, and each play their part in providing shelter and food in varying degrees.