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Garden birds

Much as I love garden birds they can be both beneficial and an outright nuisance. Watching the pigeons gorging on my cabbage plants (the wind had blown the netting slightly apart but sufficient for the wood pigeons beaks to get stripping) and the sparrows dust bathing in my newly planted seedbeds taxes my good intentions to our feathered friends.

However, they do eat vast amounts of insects that prey on plants so I can forgive them the odd delinquent behaviour.

I picked up some old bird scaring tips from a local sage which I intend to try out and hopefully some of you will do the same so I can gauge if this old country wisdom really does work.

A good old fashioned scarecrow I am told has much more effect when dressed in predominantly red clothing as this colour is supposed to be the most off -putting to birds and they are unlikely to approach anything of size in this colour in the garden.

More outlandish is the use of potatoes into which several feathers have been inserted. These are then hung on strings tied to sticks across seed beds or among young plants and the birds will avoid the area! I have long used black cotton threaded between the branches of soft fruit bushes with past good results in deterring bud and blossom depredation as the culprits shy away rather than risk becoming entangled.

Several people tell me the find wind chimes hung close to fruit trees equally effective as the birds find the tinkling sound is very unsettling. Then you could keep a cat of course. Certainly will discourage birds but they can be serial wreckers particularly of seed beds!

Anyway, at least all these deterrent are less intrusive than the gas gun barrages that our local farmers deploy!

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