Just some notes about water and wildlife in your garden.
It hadn’t occurred to a friend that in summer they should be providing plenty of water for birds to drink, not just food. It’s an easy oversight.
For my sins, I like to feed the birds in my garden. This time of year (I’m writing this in August), the bird feeders definitely empty more slowly. There’s a lot of natural food out there and I guess that’s going to be make a nice change. I’m not complaining – I’ll be stumping up in winter!
Food aside, what I’m also seeing, though, is that the bird baths are being used far more than normal. And that’s perfectly reasonable – after all, there’s a long dry spell, water can be hard to come by.
As an accidental experiment this year, I’ve two different sources of water in the garden. One, the bird bath that’s been there for years. The second is a modest little ‘pond’, which I had knocking around in the garage and only last winter got around to installing. Well, I started with good intentions. It’s very small, designed to be the home for a little fountain. I’ve yet to sort out a pump and fountain.
However, in the meantime, because it has a wide but very shallow surround, the birds have really taken to it. I’m guessing, but perhaps for some of them the shallowness makes it more attractive than the bird bath. (The day before yesterday I had four goldfinches sharing it at the same time.)
In truth, the reasons don’t really matter. I think the take-away lesson is that it might well be worth setting up two different bird baths – offering different depths. Neither need to be anything clever or expensive – just a couple of old dishes or similar will do. And a bit of water isn’t going to break the bank – but it will be welcome. All you have to do is keep an eye on what you set up and fill up when needed. It might take a few days for birds to get to know the water’s there, but they will.