Minnie and Maisie Sneaky snatchers!

Sneaky snatchers!

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We have lots of wildlife (mainly birds) that come into our garden and we encourage them to do so. In fact we have names for nearly all of them that visit regularly.

We have a range of blackbirds that we named, there’s Blackie, he’s the daddy of them all but I’m fairly sure he’s not the original Blackie who we started feeding 9 years ago! Then we have his wife Brownie, original I know! but they do get better…..slightly! Then Beaky, he has a really long beak! Then there’s Baldy, named because he’s so dishevelled and has hardly any feathers. Dracula, not because he has teeth or anything but it looks like he’s wearing a cloak! Stretch who has a long neck, Bright eyes because he has the most beautiful big round eyes and finally Bad leg, named because he has one leg sticking out and all bent up!

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They all take it in turns to visit and sit on the wall looking through the kitchen window. What they are waiting for is sultanas! We buy bag loads of them mainly for the blackbirds. If they can’t see us, they hop on to the shed to get closer and if the back door is open they come right into the kitchen to help themselves!

The last time this happened I had left the door ajar for Minnie and Maisie and had invested in one of those cheap plastic tassel door curtains to hang up from the outside. I figured that if the strands were wafting in the breeze, (it doesn’t take much to make them move) it would keep the blackbirds out. It didn’t work, Blackie must have walked straight through them because he was on my worktop trying to get into the bag of sultanas that I leave on the side (I don’t bother putting it away anymore because we feed them so much!)

I heard such a racket and M&M flew downstairs barking and screaming and I followed in hot pursuit trying not to end up in A&E for slipping down the stairs that I was trying to take two at a time…..not a pretty sight!
Blackie on seeing the dogs, decided it was time to vacate the premises through the closed window, repeatedly flying at the glass and pooing everywhere in the process. My husband was in the garden and came running in to find out what all the commotion was. Slipping on dog food that Blackie must have been having a go at pre finding the sultanas. Nearly doing himself a back injury by doing a slow motion ballet dancer full leg split as the food was slid across the tiled floor!
Minnie was pogo-ing up the draining board trying to get Blackie, Maisie was dropping her right shoulder down aiming for a sloppy bird poo to roll in. Hubby was now on his knees and looking for somewhere to crawl to so that he could pull himself up into standing position! It really was utter chaos and worthy of an entry to a Frank Spencer script!

This has happened on numerous occasions when they have young hungry babies to feed and haven’t got the time to pull up worms! Well why would you, when you have juicy sultanas served to you?

We have a pair of robins called Robin (obviously) and Ruby. They love the peanuts. Last year I stood a large mirror against the garage ready to send to the recycling place and all Robin did all day was look at himself and fly at the mirror trying to attack his reflection, they are very territorial. In the end I turned the mirror around so that he could get ‘closure’ and go and find some dinner!

We have numerous pigeons, there are a couple, peg leg who only has one leg and stumpy who only has one foot that I have a soft spot for but the rest drive me mad with their mess and a pair of ring neck doves we call the polo’s.

We don’t name the sparrows there are too many of them or the starlings, apart from one we call Shadow. We call him Shadow because he follows Blackie around shadowing him, as he knows where all the best places to eat are! The rest we refer to as ‘the gang’.

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I made a feeder that took me ages to do to try and keep the pigeons and starlings from stealing all the food that I put out for the little birds. I used two planters and some chicken wire. I upturned the pots and wrapped the wire around and then cut little squares out for the little ones to be able to fly through in safely and eat without threat. When I had finished it looked like a parrot cage! I hung the seed feeder and fat balls inside. I was really pleased with myself. Hopefully now the pigeons would go somewhere else if the food couldn’t fall to the ground and the starlings couldn’t peck the little blue tits and sparrows 🙂 But one morning I opened the blinds and found a starling trapped inside….I have no idea how he got in but he certainly couldn’t get back out again! I had to take the base off, which was ok as I had made it so that I could release it without too much trouble to enable me to fill up the feeders. But no matter what I did, the starling would not come out! I ended up taking it all apart before he would fly off so that was it…….I never bothered re-constructing it again!

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MUCKY

We did have a song thrush but she has given us a miss this year, obviously living at the seaside we have loads of seagulls with only one that I sneakily feed occasionally that we call mucky! An old lady who has died recently reared him from a baby as his mum got run over. He flits between the houses now begging for food. He has always had a dirty black breast hence his name!

And we also have Hector the hedgehog, toady the toad and the sneakiest squirrel ever. I don’t know how he gets up that metal pole to steal the birds nuts I really don’t but I love watching him.

 

Minnie and Maisie pretending to be garden ornaments to catch the pigeon!

My sister in law was watching the birds one day, nice and relaxed, cup of tea in hand. A blackbird came down and tugged for all his worth at a worm that was refusing to become lunch. He battled and battled with it eventually plucking it from the earth and was about to tuck in when a robin, who was watching from the side line, flew at him and scared him off. He had sat there letting the blackbird do all the work and then stole the prize! My sister in law let out a gasp and sighed, ‘poor blackbird’ The robin then picked up the still wriggling worm and perched on the fence when all of a sudden a crow came tumbling through the air and scooped up the robin! The worm landed back down to earth with a bump and quickly preceded to return underground. My sister in laws gasps became a shrill of  ‘ Oh my gods’ !!     …..   Justice???
Minnie and Maisie do their utter best to keep all wildlife out of our garden but without success….thankfully! They eat the remnants of fatballs that fall out of the feeder when they are small enough to escape the holder. They eat the nuts that cascade when the squirrel has had a go at it and they try to suck up the birdseed that scatters on the lawn!

All in all my garden has become a den of thieves!

 

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