Bird lovers across Somerset and Dorset have been remembering their feathered friends during the recent snowy conditions as Brian King from Castle Gardens in Sherborne reports: "Over the last month, and despite the awful road conditions, we have seen customers over and over again coming in to buy supplies of bird food. Overall we have seen an increase in the sales of bird food of over 28% at all three of our garden centres in Yeovil, Dorchester and Sherborne. When the ground is frozen and berries, worms and insects are in short supply, putting food out regularly is really important as birds use energy simply flying to places where they usually feed".
The RSPB recommends that birds are fed all year round and not just with specific bird seed mixtures and suet balls. Brian gives his top tips for keeping the birds well fed, "Put out a mixture of different seeds, suet balls and peanuts, supplement this with things like jacket potatoes opened up or dried fruit, make sure clean water is available, keep the bird table clean and free of mouldy crumbs, and keep a note of the birds you see regularly - you'll be surprised at how quickly you get a regular gang at the table!"
"Gardens would not be the same without birds as they are natural pest controllers! So gardeners understand the value of attracting birds to their gardens - not just because they are a delight to watch. The antics of birds round a bird table stocked up with half a coconut and some peanuts are better than any computer game!"