It’s been a great summer season for wild birds – the good weather has meant that there has been a plentiful bounty of seeds and insects in the wild, however the feeders have still been emptied every day, so convenience shopping is clearly popular with busy birds bringing up large families!

This great summer, coupled with the mild winter means the conditions for birds are the best they have been for years, and we hope that numbers of birds have made a good recovery. From the numbers in our gardens and on the feeders, we think that’s the case!

In autumn some of our visiting migrating birds will start to think about the journey home. Birds like swallows, swifts, chiffchaffs, and cuckoos all start their long trip back to Africa with the swallows going as far as South Africa, an 11 hour flight for us on a plane!

Yellow wagtails, fieldfares and redwings, and even some robins, will head for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, which is still a massive and impressive journey for our small garden friends.

To make this journey they have to be in the best condition, and well hydrated, as water can be in short supply when weather is as hot as it has been this summer. So make sure that, as well as well varied and good-quality food sources, you provide a good supply of water. In fact, at this stage of the year when it’s so dry, water can be more a draw to your gardens than food! Swifts and swallows will swoop down on ponds and pools to take water on the wing, which is a wonderful sight and requires some specialist flying!

Its also a great time to bring in the feeders and give them a good clean through, making sure all old food and any mould is removed so that any food put on there is clean and safe. No bird will want to start a long flight with a bad stomach or feeling ill!

Another autumn tip is to leave some of the fallen fruit from the trees on the ground so that the songbirds can feast on these as they start to break down.

It’s been a season of plenty so let’s support our feathered friends and make sure they get all they need for their trip home. Head to our wild bird section for plenty of healthy food and treats for your garden birds.

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