Sunday, December 15

Watering holes.

In earlier posts I have described how we provide lots of different foods for our bird visitors, however it is just as important to provide birds with water.

It may seem strange to us that birds need to bath when the weather is freezing but bathing is essential if they are to keep their feathers in good condition. On many winter's days our bird bath can be emptied in minutes by bathing birds.
As well as making sure the baths remained topped up we also have to be on thawing duty when the water freezes.
We have several sources of drinking and bathing water in our garden. There are three bird baths and a puddle pond.
In autumn the bird baths need to be kept leaf free and as you can see from the photos above ours were in need of a scrub to remove the algal growth.
We also have a garden pond which rarely freezes completely. When it becomes impossible to keep the other water sources ice free birds will use the pond as a bathing and drinking hole. The strings are to deter one bird that isn't welcome - the heron!
We have lids on our water butts so that any birds searching for a drink don't fall in and drown but this is important all year round as is access to water.

One thing the smaller birds weren't too impressed with was the visit this morning of a male sparrowhawk which sat in our magnolia tree just until we managed to get the camera ready at which point it flew off!


26 comments:

  1. What a fabulous photo of the birds having a bath, brilliant. Bird baths can be a great ornamental feature of a garden as well as being essential for the birds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are indeed, Jo. If you remember I bought one in preference to a statue!

      Delete
  2. Some great photos Sue. My birds seem to have deserted me of late...no doubt as the colder weather arrives they will be back with a vengeance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A bit quiet here today, Tanya - maybe a post sparrowhawk situation.

      Delete
  3. I was out doing bird-bath maintenance only yesterday. My little micro-pond fills up with leaves very easily. Haven't seen any Sparrowhawks here, but I did see an amusing incident with a cat today. It was trying to get some pieces of chicken from the hanging bird-table and climbed up a tree to get to them (it couldn't reach). Getting up was easy enough, but getting down was more difficult! When it noticed me getting out my camera it decided it HAD to jump and leapt into open space (only about 10 feet up), but of course it landed on its feet and ran away with damage only to its pride.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elusive photo subjects eh Mark? Must say seeing a sparrowhawk perched by the feeders I felt a mixture of feelings.

      Delete
  4. The bird baths are my job for tomorrow - if the winds ever die down!
    That's a beautiful picture with all the sparrows crammed into the bird bath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And more queuing up to have a turn Angie

      Delete
  5. We had a blackbird bathing in the pond the other morning, for the first time ever. And a few weeks ago a heron was briefly in the garden. I think all the excited shouting scared it off though! Lovely picture of all of those sparrows. A shame about the one that got away. I tried sneaking up on a buzzard that was walking around on the fairway at the golf course yesterday (no zoom lens to hand), but I didn't get very close!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must admit there are times when the net is handy, CJ in case a bird gets stuck but they seem to know what they are doing.
      The heron has paid one or two visits but we have been lucky so far and now hope the strings keep it at bay.

      Delete
  6. Great photos Sue.. Love the one of the sparrows in the bird bath. We have a bird bath and a beach area to our wildlife pond, both are used a lot by our feathered friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They often make me shiver, Julie when they are soaking wet in freezing temperatures

      Delete
  7. What a super picture sue. I must invest in a bird bath table when I get some spare cash.... I only have a old plastic jelly dish out at the moment but it gets used.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as water is there Captain they won't care what it is in!

      Delete
  8. What a LOVELY post, I can't stop smiling at the birds bathing, what an amazing pic....I'd enter that into the wildlife photographer of the year or something....a winner for sure. You have some wonderful birds and I'm delighted to hear how utterly SPOILT they all are. 5 star for sure.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We aim to please them Snowbird - hope they have recovered from the sparrowhawk sighting soon.

      Delete
  9. Great picture of all those sparrows! My birdbath is frequently used by magpies but I haven’t seen any other birds using it. In the summer I have to clean it very often because it gets green with algae very quickly, perhaps because it is black? Not such a problem in the winter though. The birds haven’t started eating the seeds here yet, hope they will return soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magpies use the bird bath to dunk any dried bread that some people put out, Helene. My sister once saw one bring a bone to her bird bath and dunk it presumably trying to soften it

      Delete
  10. lovely picture of all the spadgers having a good wash - they seem to have disappeared from our garden at the moment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ours are too after the sparrowhawk visit, Elaine.

      Delete
  11. Really fantastic! Bird bath...

    ReplyDelete
  12. A bird bath is one of the things on our must have list too, they do seem to enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do Jessica but it is also a matter of needing to bathe to keep their feathers in good condition. I guess they know what is good for them.

      Delete
  13. Open bath in winter? Wow! it must be very cold but wonder how the bird cope up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's just a case of need, Malar, In winter they need to have good feathers to keep them warm and bathing is part of keeping their feathers in good condition.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.