Culture: Wildlife - Feed the birds
During the winter months, visits to our bird feeders reach a peak as natural food becomes much scarcer. This is the time when keeping the feeders full is of most importance as our small birds will be feeding from first light to last light every day.
Here at Lackford, we put out a variety of foods that are high on energy and help cater for all the birds that visit. The most frequent visitors to our feeders would be the various tits, such as blue, great, marsh and long-tailed tits. High on the menu for these little fellows are sunflower hearts and either fat balls or suet pellets/blocks. They also like to have a peck at the peanuts with their high fat content.
This time of year is also the time when flocks of siskin and redpolls are most likely to come to the feeders and their food of choice is niger seed, which can be fed using a special type of feeder. Niger also attracts greenfinch and the beautifully-coloured goldfinch. As mentioned before, peanuts have a high fat content and is suitable for a variety of birds including sparrows, tits and nuthatches, the latter being a regular visitor to the centre feeders.
Other common visitors to our gardens and visitor centre are robins and blackbirds. Robins are likely to go for the fat balls or suet feeders. Blackbirds are less likely to visit hanging feeders and prefer to take their food from either the ground or a bird table and are quite happy with a mixed seed. Some mixed seed can be bought very cheaply, but beware as these cheap types are usually bulked out with wheat and barley seed, which small birds don’t like and thus usually gets left behind.
Here at Lackford Lakes, we sell a variety of good quality bird food and feeders too. Please pop in enjoy watching the birds on our feeders at the visitor centre while having a hot drink and cake, and if you have any questions about feeding your own birds, our staff will be very willing to help you.
Hawk Honey, Visitor officer, Lackford Lakes