Gracie and I took a rest from packing today to make a few pine cone bird feeders - a little going away treat for the birds. After putting them up we were visited by our usual robins, blue tits and black birds but also dozens of starlings that would swoop in all at once and suddenly disappear all together again.
Last year I was lucky enough to catch this little guy with my long lens, a great spotted woodpecker. Click on any of these bird names and on this RSPB site and you can hear each bird's call. It's a fantastic site, even if like me, your not a madly dedicated bird enthusiast.
And if you take your eye off the wildlife in the tree for a wee second, you might just find they've scurried to the top for a better view of the sea!
I just had to run in the house and get up stairs to get a picture of this little monkey at the tree top - perhaps some mums might stand underneath in case the child fell ;)
Making these couldn't be easier. I've made them in the past with peanut butter and margarine, mixed together but have since heard peanut butter may not be best for birds - something about a lack of salivary glands? Someone from MIFS mentioned it, sorry don't remember who.
This year we just used margarine and rolled the cones in seed and pushed as much seed as we could into them. We hung three and they were cleaned out in just a week - the birds love them. Our weather is cold enough that the margarine firms up nicely - give it a go, they couldn't be any easier to make.
Tip: Tie a bit of garden twine to the top of the cone (for hanging) before slathering margarine all over - less mucky that way.