Young Robin - taken 2009 in back garden - Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


When was the last time you actually watched wildlife in your back garden?

Today? Last week? Can't remember? In today's modern world, we are finding it increasingly difficult to relax and take time out from work or family. This blog is to remind you all of the free entertainment that we can enjoy each and every day - WILDLIFE!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Discovered another visitor to our garden today...... a small rat!

I know I shouldn't really encourage him (or her?) but I throw food out all the time in the back whether its cheese, seed or nuts and I don't mind who eats it... rat, mouse, birds, badger or fox!

The way I see it is the woodland out the back of our house was there before our house was built, so in theory we're trespassing on the rat's property!

And as long as there's plenty of food outside, it means it won't want to come inside! The photos aren't the best but the light was really gloomy (raining again!) so it was the best I could do!

....... and I'm a sucker for a cute face! :-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I hope everyone has had a nice Christmas - we certainly did. We had my in-laws over to stay with us so I haven't really had the chance to observe the garden birds as much as usual - I had an extra pair of eyes watching....... the shape of our German Shepherd, Kira!

We haven't seen Kira (or the in-laws) for about 2 1/2 years so it was really nice to catch up.

Anyway, back to the garden birds....... judging by how often I'm refilling the feeders, I assume the usual suspects are still visiting!
I did see a solitary Goldfinch loitering in the background yesterday, so I'm hoping it will return soon to feed!

I've also spotted this little fella helping himself (or herself) to the peanuts.

I'm throwing down a few handfuls every day to deter it from climbing onto the nut feeder (hopefully!)
I'm not really a huge fan of grey squirrels but I have to admit they have got a cuteness about them! I would still prefer to see our native red squirrels though.

It makes a change to see the garden again in daylight as usually its dark when I leave for work & dark when I get home..... I can't wait for lighter evenings to return!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Christmas

I'm going to be offline for a few days now as family commitments take over for the Christmas period!

I'd like to wish all of you who visit my blog a Very Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Snow hasn't reached our neck of the woods yet but it has been bitterly cold today. The sunflower seeds have been going down at an alarming rate with birds taking a seed out literally every other second.

This made us wonder.......just how many seeds are eaten every day?

And how much is it costing us to replenish the stock?

So, we decided to carry out a little experiment, the following is an approximation and figures are generally rounded up where applicable:-

Coal Tits observed in two 1-hour periods during the day, both AM and PM visiting the sunflower seed feeder giving the average as follows:-

Approx 225 seeds (weighing 15g - yep we weighed them!) were taken per hour x 8 hours = 1800 seeds per day.

Average 8 hour day x 15g = 120g of seed taken per day

120g per day x 365 days = 44kg of seed taken per year (approx)

A 3kg bag of seed costs €10 x 15 bags per year = €150 yearly cost
225 seeds = 15g

1kg contains approx 67 x 15g servings

225 seeds x 67 = 15,075 seeds per 1kg

15,075 x 44kg yearly consumption = 663,300 seeds per year

Only 10 birds (4 Coal Tits, 4 Blue Tits & 2 Great Tits) are currently visiting out sunflower seed feeder which equates to 66,330 seeds per bird per year!

Like I mentioned before these are approximations and obviously during winter the birds visit the feeder a lot more than summer months but then they would also have chicks to feed in the summer so I think it would probably average itself out.

Approx €150 spent per year just on sunflower seeds, not taking into account the peanuts, fat balls, fat squares, normal bird seed, meal worms, apples, raisins...........etc etc.

No wonder I'm always skint!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Can anyone tell me where all the garden birds go at lunchtime?

I generally try to come home for lunch anytime between 12.30pm - 2pm and my feeders are completely empty! Its as though the birds know I'm on my way home and disappear!
The same has happened today - this morning was a frenzy of Coal, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches, Dunnocks and the Robin until lunchtime and then silence!
Do they know something I don't? Does the neighbourhood cat have it's daily prowl around lunch? Does it happen everywhere else? Can anyone enlighten me?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


There is a definite wintry chill in the air now! Judging by how busy the feeders are I would say the birds are feeling it too! Its been non-stop activity all weekend. I'm thinking of buying extra feeders to cope with them all!

The Chaffinches have now taken to clinging onto the peanut feeder which isn't pleasing the various Coal/Blue/Great Tits at all.

So far over the weekend the sunflower seed feeder (which slots on top of the pole) has been found on the ground twice! I found out why this morning when I watched a Rook trying to eat the seeds from the small portholes then fly off with such vigour that the thing dropped to the floor - I didn't even know Rooks ate sunflower seeds!

Also had 2 Jackdaws clinging clumsily on to the fat ball feeder & the peanut holder this morning, whilst the smaller birds watched from the sidelines, almost as though they were willing the Jackdaws to fall off!

The Long Tailed Tits are becoming regular visitors now (which I'm very happy about!), and there were 2 Greenfinches in the ferns earlier today. I even spotted the Bullfinch picking the last of the berries - this one was definitely a male judging by the bright red front!

No photos today, unfortunately, but hopefully will post a short video later in the week showing all of this activity (if I can work out how to use the thing!)