Thursday, August 14, 2014

The watering hole - attracting birds into the garden.

La Pasera is situated on the edge of a rural village surrounded by fields and meadows. There is little reason for birds to flock to our garden for food as the entire countryside is like an over-stocked larder.
There are plenty of untended fields, hedges, woodlands and meadows from which they can feed.

Water is a different issue. The area is punctuated with limestone outcrops, caves and caverns which results in very little water collecting above ground. In addition, as there are no fresh water supplies in the immediate vicinity (the nearest being Rio Guadamia), in dry periods, water is in short supply for birds.

We have several birdbaths and receptacles dotted around the garden for the birds to use including, 5 free-standing bowls, a garden pond, a half barrel pond and what we call a watering hole i.e. a small shallow lined pond sited in the quietest part of the garden.

The bird baths attract a wide variety of small birds who jostle and fight for position and dominance, usually the blackbirds are the more aggressive visitors, chasing away smaller birds as they approach.

The larger garden birds such as Jays, Green and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and Wood Pigeons rarely venture to the bird baths but they do visit the watering hole regularly. Although still nervous and wary, they make the most of the peaceful setting, away from prying eyes and open enough to spot any predators (Wentworth and Gawber).

Here is a short film (4 minutes) we took with the Bushnell camera of our most frequent visitors to the watering hole... See how many you can name, the first two birds are Jays (just to get you started. (The music is by Ian)

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