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Where have the birds gone?

We live on the edge of a small village surrounded by countryside.  There a quite a few trees around our house.  We have a wildlife/woodland themed rear garden where we have a well-stocked bird table.  Doves have taken over the garden, we reckon up to a dozen live around us, one pair nesting in one of our trees.  We used to watch the doves lining up on our summer house taking it in turns to feed.   

During the cold weather the bird able was well attended until about two days before the very cold weather ended.  Since then attendance has been well down judging by how slowly the food has disappeared.  This happened once before, at the end of one August a few years ago.  Presumably there was plenty to eat lying around then which there isn’t now.      

Anyone any ideas what has happened.

At about 750 feet on the western edge of The Pennines.  Clay soil.  


  • We have had the same conversations while we look at our feeders. We also have been to nature reserves and the number of birds does seem to be down after all the cold weather, which usually brings them in. Avian flu? Really I don't know but they are certainly down.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,819
    It's quite common and nothing to worry about  :)
    They're often finding food elsewhere, especially in mild spells etc. Insect eaters in particular. They can also be looking for a partner at this time of year, or potential nesting sites. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • It's also possible you have a visiting predator - perhaps a sparrowhawk...
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,836
    They're all in my garden, stripping the contents of the bird feeders with alacrity. At least 8 warring blackbirds, robins, dunnocks, chaffinches, very numerous goldfinches, a pair of bullfinches, nuthatches, blue and great tits, spotted woodpeckers, jays, magpies and way too many wood pigeons.

  • There is definitely a lack of birds on the clay pits. I assume due to the Avian Flu which is rife down here in Cornwall. Such a shame, so many corpses on the beaches.

    Word has got out that I have begun feeding again. My usual flock of long-tailed tits were back on the feeding station this morning, lovely to watch them all. I wish they would sit in a row to give me time to count them They flit back and forth constantly, then suddenly all disappear. 
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970
    Our song birds came back with a vengeance today, they have been low in numbers but this morning 20 plus sparrows, 9 goldfinches with blue tits, chaffinches, blackbirds etc, plus to our annoyance 5 feral pigeons, they are nuisance most days but usually just one or two driving off song birds
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