Here’s a Funny Thing!

Our home is a bit of a sanctuary for wildlife, and we don’t disturb any living thing unless it’s really necessary - even the rabbits in residence in the garden. I do have a couple of enemies - grey squirrels and magpies - but if they stay way from us I leave them alone.

I have three bird feeding areas and maintain a healthy range of birds including the usual tits, plus robins, nuthatches, woodpeckers and chaffinches (who always seem to do well when others might wane - particularly the tits who in the winter months sometimes tragically disappear altogether). Of course there are many other birds around - redwings, wheat ears, gulls, long tailed tits, redstarts, buzzards and the
occasional red kite - including a resident sparrow hawk, who does his best to hunt down foolish birds whenever the opportunity occurs - but my feeders are either in a cage or protected from ‘stooping’ access, except some peanut feeders which are suspended on a long high ‘washing’ line which the squirrels have so far failed to reach. Fortunately I’ve managed to out-whit the squirrels and they have given up coming here - at the moment!

I buy good quality sunflower seed and peanuts in bulk bags, which are consumed roughly in the ratio 2 sunflower to 1 peanuts. When I last bought, I had a surplus of peanuts, but a few weeks ago I was surprised to find that I had completely run out. I keep the stored bags on top of a steel cabinet and wrap them up in layers of empty bags to discourage the mice that live in the shed. When I explored I could
find no bag of peanuts, but what I did find was an unopened bag - inside the wrapping of used empty bags - with two mouse sized holes at one end - completely flat, and empty except for the roughage from the absent nuts!!
When I checked there was not a single peanut in the bag and no trace of any nuts anywhere around - what a nerve!

It’s not cheap feeding the birds with premium nuts, never mind about the mice helping themselves to 20kg. at a time!!                                                                          September 2011

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