Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Feeding the Birds with Wilko

If you follow me over on Instagram or Twitter you might have noticed that a couple of weeks ago, one Tuesday morning I was busy building a bird table in my kitchen.

We'd been sent a parcel of bird feeding goodies as part of the Wilko Wild Bird Blogger project to help try to attract some little feathered friends into our garden.

Now, usually the offer of any garden related blogging project would have me yelling "hell no!" and politely turning it down - our garden has seen better days and I'm no Alan Titchmarsh.  But happily one of the advantages of not being the world's best gardener is that I've noticed how much wild birds enjoy our messy garden!

We've had a small bird feeder at the bottom of the garden for a few years and while it was getting regular visitors up until very recently, we had to take the feeder away because some of the feed had sprouted in the wet weather, and the birds couldn't get to the seeds behind the soggy blockage (nor would they want to - yuk!).

I was really quite excited when our wild bird pack arrived.  It contained a beautiful little nesting box, a bird table kit, a bird cage seed feeder and a bag of wild bird seed mix to get us started.  All the items come from the Wilko Wild Bird feeding range and although I've never shopped at Wilko before I was really impressed by the quality of the items.

Our Wilko Wild Bird Blogger Pack

As I mentioned before, I put the bird table together, yes, me, all by myself!  I'm not a DIY expert but the instructions were easy to follow and the table was soon up and finished in the space of about half an hour (I had time for a cup of coffee too).


In terms of placing the table, I decided that I'd put it on the edge of our decking just in front of the kitchen window, so that I could see any birds while I was doing the washing up (such a glamorous lifestyle I lead). We have a pebbled edge to the deck, so I nestled the table into that and surrounded the base with some terracotta pots for good measure.  The table is quite light but I can confirm that it hasn't fallen over once, not even in the very high winds we've been having here recently.  Another advantage to the slightly smaller table is that, as yet, none of the visiting pigeons have been tempted to land on it and take any of the food.  All in all a thumbs up from me.

Our bird table flanked by pots

The feeder we were sent is probably one of the best bird feeders I have seen.  We've been through a few in the past as they tend to break down and fall apart after a while.  This one is not only great because it has a cage around it to keep away the bigger birds or any squirrels that fancy a nibble too, but at £6 it is such good value.  I have paid way more at our local garden centre for something with far fewer features.  The catch on the top of the feed compartment is the best bit though, it's so strong - nothing is getting into that that shouldn't be.

For small birds only

I've hung our new feeder on the original feeder stand at the bottom of our garden.  It's nice and quiet down there and the birds love flitting between the tree branches and feeder.

So, did the birds come to our garden?  Well, yes they did, although after the wettest and windiest few weeks I wasn't sure I'd ever see any.  But sure enough, while standing by the kitchen sink over the weekend I noticed some sparrows on our feeder!  Unfortunately, a brown bird against a brown fence in a shady part of the garden is probably one of the more ambitious things I could think of to try to photograph, but you'll have to believe me, they were there!

I have also seen, as it gets dark (and I'm yet again doing the washing up!) a robin checking out the bird table as well as a pair of nesting blackbirds (their nest is at the bottom of the garden).  Still no sign of the blue tits that we had here last year, but as I say the weather has been terrible here recently - they are probably hiding still.

With a bit of luck we'll soon see some new occupants to our nesting box.  We had birds nesting in our roof last year and I'd quite like to see them move into the sweet little nesting box which we've hung on the back of the garden shed (a bargain at £2.50).

Nesting box

The twins have enjoyed seeing the birds too, and the mere mention of the bird table had twin girl hitting Google for ideas on what we could put out for the birds (The RSPB website has some really good suggestions).  It has definitely sparked their imaginations, although they did ask whether any owls would be visiting as they are learning about those in school, but I'm not popping any dead field mice on the bird table for anyone!.

Just some seeds and bread for our birds!

I am planning on getting some more bird feeding products from the Wilko website soon - they have a huge selection of feeds for attracting different birds to your garden and in particular I'm keen to try their suet insect blocks, which we've had from the garden centre before, the birds go mad for them in Spring and the Wilko ones are priced very competitively.

We've loved being part of the Wilko Wild Bird Blogger Project, not only to sample some of their fab new range first hand, but also so that we can learn a little more about looking after our garden wildlife too.

We were sent a Wilko Wild Bird Blogger pack containing the items mentioned above for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.

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