Ever since we have lived here, and enjoyed the novelty of having a garden after the central London flat, we have fed the birds. As well as using a small bird table, we have a purpose built feeder, and put out mealworms, seeds, and mixed bird food too.
I also have a habit of cutting old bread into small chunks, and spreading it on the grass. This allows the larger birds to get at it, and also provides the opportunity for smaller ground feeders to peck off crumbs. Over the years, the arrival of that bread has heralded a rapid descent by starlings, blackbirds, and wood pigeons. Usually within a very short space of time, it has all gone.
I could easily do this every day, and watch as the various birds fluttered down to clear the bread, often as I was still standing there throwing it around. The largest wood pigeons can consume a huge amount, and the smaller pieces they leave behind are welcomed by the thrushes and starlings. Most days, we would also get to see the presence of a colourful Jay. That bird waited until all the others had left, and came to clear up the remains.
But over the last two weeks, the bread has been left uneaten on the grass. I have stopped putting more out, as on a couple of days none was taken, and no birds spotted. As Ollie tends to chase off the local cats, I am fairly sure that the birds are not being scared. Perhaps it is the season for berries, and they are getting their fill elsewhere, I don’t really know.
Whatever the reason behind it, I hope that they return to the garden soon.