7 February 2011 Another Monday. Nothing much to report. Still feeding mixed commercial bird seed while awaiting supply of separate seed. I have made 2 slight modifications to the new feeders neither of which appears to have deterred the birds; I have numbered each feeder and given the tubes feet so they are all the requisite ½ inch clear of the dish without relying on the tubes being kept the correct distance off the dishes by the wires alone. See right in Image 12.

 

 

I have seen a male House Sparrow on the feeders - whether more than one I'm not sure - but no females. Whereas the female Chaffinch/s continue to be regular feeders on the dish feeders, males will occasionally approach the dishes but not land, preferring to tread water frantically before either flying off in a funk or snatching at a morsel to retreat and eat. Meanwhile the grain mountain continues to accumulate under the old feeder and now completely obscures the tarmac as shown in Image 13. Not even the rodents eat it!

 

It rained this morning - enough to wet the grain in the dishes. This does not seem to have put the birds off, unlike wet peanuts. But I will drill small drainage holes in each dish tonight when I bring them in after dark, otherwise the dishes might fill with water and that could be a problem. More importantly the tubes need caps. The rain wet the grain in the tubes either making it swell or increasing its adhesion to the sides of the tubes. Either way, grain from the tubes was more resistant to filling the dishes than before.

 

Each of the new feeders holds about a ¼ of my other 'standard' double-decker feeders shown at left in image 12. The latter are each emptied in about a day but can only accommodate 4 birds at a time, whereas the new feeders can each accommodate at least 2 birds a piece. So if the new feeders are not emptied as quickly or quicker than the old ones, something is amiss.