Friday, August 10

Not forgetting the birds

We have had a couple of posts recently about the bees so now it's the turn of the birds.

For a few weeks now I've been picking redcurrants from under a protective net accompanied by the sound of disgruntled blackbirds. Blackbirds and thrushes adore redcurrants so much so that we learned early on that leaving the ripe or even ripening currants unprotected means none for us. We have lots of blackbirds on our site and some thrushes and they all have their beady eyes on any tasty berries.

We share our raspberries with them as they don't usually eat so many that we are left without but each time we go to pick a bird is guaranteed to fly out of the canes squawking in disgust at having been disturbed.
They seem to find somewhere to sit from which they can nibble at the fruits rather than carrying them off.

The deal with the blackbirds is that once we have picked as many berries as we want we take the netting off the top of the 'cage' and they can move in! Masses of them home in on this bounty (Martyn counted eight fly out of the bushes the other day when he disturbed them). Having been disturbed they don't stay away for long using our nearby shed as a landing stage from which to decide whether the coast is clear. I did try to get a photo but the birds get so deep into the bushes that all that gives them away is the movement of branches.

Soon they will have stripped the plants so that not a single currant is left. Unlike the raspberries the recurrants are swallowed in one gulp!
They'll leave just tell tale signs that they have been.


8 comments:

  1. I once had an injured female Blackbird shelter in a redcurrant bush for a couple of weeks. She was there all the time, trying to recuperate, and obviously enjoying the "hospital food". I hadn't the heart to chase her away, so that year we had a lot fewer currants than normal.

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    1. We've been away for a few days and went to the plot this afternoon. They haven't missed a single redcurrant.

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  2. I have some cages that I put over my seedlings to stop the blackbirds scratching them out. On more than one occasion I've had to rescue birds trapped under them - I have no idea how they get there just that they do. Perhaps a helpful rodent pushes up the edge of the cage.

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    1. It certainly is a challenge bird proofing something they really want to get to Liz!

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  3. It's nice to share some of the bounty with the birds from time to time.

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    1. It is Damo - a sort of thank you for providing interest in the garden

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  4. I don't seem to have the bird problem this year...all of my currants stayed on the bushes for me....maybe it is because they are right near my pond wild flower section and manure heap which the birds find great delight in looking through.

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    1. They're not too bad with the blackcurrants but can't resist the reds, Tanya.

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