CBC Chat Forum Thread

AuthorTopic: Walsey Hills Feeding Station
Steve Gantlett Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 30/12/2018 14:20:40

Nothing seems to be happening yet with the projected Walsey Hills Feeding Station, so I thought Id share some ideas/suggestions on how it could work, based on how Ive seen it done at other places.

I suggest a metal dustbin be placed in the sheltered alcove tucked behind the lookout-hide on the top of Walsey Hills. In it to be placed eg a sack of mixed seed with a scoop and eg bags of peanuts, fat-balls and maybe niger seed. Then any CBC or NOA member that comes along and finds the bird table and/or feeders low or empty just goes to the bin and replenishes them. Theres no need for any one person to do it. Any CBC or NOA member who fancies donating and putting out further food eg apples to just do so too.

Does anyone have a metal dustbin theyd care to donate? Or a posh metal seed-bin? It just needs to be metal to be rat-proof. CBC could perhaps buy the bin, and the seed perhaps to begin with. But if it proves a success with both birds and birders as I think it would if permanently stocked, maybe a bird seed supplier (Natural Surroundings?) would be willing to sponsor free seed in return for a small notice on the bird-table support.

As a start, Ive today put some mixed seed on the bird-table. There were no birds there at all, but hopefully some will soon find it.

John Dicks Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 31/12/2018 16:12:47

Thanks Steve

We have made the offer to sponsor the feeding station the NOA have accepted our offer and I agree that nothing is happening. I will contact Sophie to see when they intend to get the started.Thanks for the very helpful suggestion which I will pass on to Sophie.

Tom Green Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 31/12/2018 16:40:45

Thanks John (and Steve) It would be good if the feeding station was functioning strongly by the time the next 'beast from the east' (or indeed, 'pest from the west') were to arrive. Yes, David and Sophie talked about how this has worked (or not) in the past and that they have an appropriate container/s for storage of seed etc. At the time we spoke to them they said they were OK for seed at present and keeping the feeders filled, but well worth checking with Sophie, as you suggest, and also letting her know about Steve's ideas, action and offer of help?

Steve Gantlett Re: Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 01/01/2019 17:43:57

Thank you both. I'd be very pleased to help and do more than my bit on this. The feeders are likely to need topping up every couple of days or so and, ideally, the bird table daily. I'd be happy to do that on many days, but not every day. Hence the suggestion that really anybody could do it if they come along and find the feeders near empty. This works well at other sites.

Steve Gantlett Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 03/01/2019 12:21:30

I found the metal dustbin at the back and have taken the liberty of bringing it round the front, together with a couple of the empty feeders from there. These I've filled with sunflower hearts and peanuts that I've supplied, together with putting more mixed seed on the bird table. So it's up and running now. It's already got Chaffinches and Blue, Great & Coal Tits, which is a lot better than the no birds at all which were there.

Just need CBC to buy some more seed and peanuts to go in the bin so that it can keep being topped up. Could be me if CBC le me have some petit cash.

Kath & Mick Claydon Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 07/01/2019 15:45:35

Looked in the bin this afternoon and found it virtually empty.  One feeder is empty.  Any progress on supply arrangements? 

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 08/01/2019 11:51:31

I've topped the feeders up again today from my own supplies. I volunteer to be CBC 'Feeder Monitor', ie get the feed and place it in the bin on a regular basis and top up the feeders on many days, but I require CBC Petit Cash to do this. I reckon the feed is likely to cost something like 25-30 per month, depending on how many hanging feeders are used and how much feed is placed on the table daily.

Steve Gantlett Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 16/01/2019 12:25:24

The food I supplied has run out now, so the birdtable and feeders are all empty again now. How difficult can it be to get a feeding station running? It's not Brexit is it? The feeding stations at Titchwell (all sorts), Natural Surroundings (clouds of tits and Nuthatches), Cley Spy (all sorts) and Welney (clouds of Tree Sparrows) are all superb. But Cley/Walsey Hills? Are there not enough interested birders here?

Steve Hale Re: Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 18/01/2019 11:27:50

Filled the feeders this morning 18th Jan and left some more seed and peanuts in the bin for further use.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 20/01/2019 19:30:01

Horray! Excellent! The feeding station is now officially up and running and looking good. It's sunflower hearts and peanuts so far - the best two feeds to start with. Maybe niger and millet feeders could be added at a later date when it is seen how the funds go.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 30/01/2019 17:08:17

Looking good! From no birds at all to lots of birds in just a couple of weeks. The feeders were positively buzzing this afternoon. It was almost like the Natural Surroundings feeders; not quite though: no Nuthatches or Marsh Tits ... yet.... 

Steve Hale Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 07/02/2019 14:57:06

Topped up the feeders this morning 7 Feb, the first time I've had to do this since 18 Jan (6 or 7 visits in between), so it appears the system is now up and running well.
Plenty of food in the bin....and the bungee strap is a nice idea!

Walter Sadler Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 14/03/2019 21:17:21

All feeders empty. Refilled three feeders (two peanuts, one sunflower hearts). The remaining two seed feeders are extremely dirty and in poor condition.  Would it be possible for the club to sponsor the purchase of replacement feeders?

Kath & Mick Claydon Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 18/03/2019 19:04:44

Perhaps the CBC could sponsor some new feeders, but I don't understand why the NOA haven't already replaced them.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 25/03/2019 15:13:14

The 'system', if there is one, needs a bit of refining. The sunflower hearts the mainstay food ran out nearly a fortnight ago. On the plus side, someone has kindly donated a niger-feeder and some niger seed. Excellent. In my experience niger is not a mainstay food but, when they find it and get a taste for it, can be excellent for Redpolls, Siskins and Goldfinches. A few fatballs have also appeared from somewhere. Again excellent. The more variety the better, of course. I have now donated a (full) sunflower hearts giant feeder. I have also done a small amount of rearrangent so that all the feeders now just hook up on branches rather than have to be wired up, which will make topping them up much easier. Three of the mankier feeders I have taken down and I suggest these are now ditched.

Steve Gantlett Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 08/04/2019 19:22:59

The current system, if there is one, is hopeless! The sunflower hearts ran out 4 weeks ago. Who's in charge? Anybody?

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 15/04/2019 13:25:32

Well, it's five weeks now and still no sunflower hearts have appeared. Is hardly anybody interested in this feeding station? Or does somebody not want to do it? If it gets to six weeks, I will assume that this project has failed and give up too, and take my giant feeder back.

John Dicks Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 19/04/2019 08:45:14

The sponsorship certainly isn't working the way we intended. The deal was we provide the money,( which we are doing) they buy the seed and they keep the feeders topped up.
I will make a visit to Holme next week and share our concerns that over the crucial winter period the  feeders have frequently been empty. Our past offer to take over the filling of the feeders was not taken up. With goodwill from the NOA I'm sure you can get this sorted.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 30/04/2019 18:39:50

Thank you. I've been away for a week, but great to see that some sunflower hearts have now appeared (along with a dedicated new metal bin for them) and the feeders are all topped up. Long may it continue! Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches attending today. Feeders are not just a winter thing, of course: they are beneficial to common birds year-round and in spring and summer they could easily attract a Serin, a Rosefinch or something rarer....

Steve Hale Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 22/05/2019 18:54:39

Topped up feeders today 22 May, we are now very low on sunflower seed.

Steve Gantlett Re: Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 23/05/2019 12:27:27

Sunflower hearts now all gone from bin. We need another sack urgently. There's enough in the big feeder for just a few days.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 03/06/2019 18:36:47

Supplies of sunflower hearts arrived over the weekend, so the feeding station is still running. The Goldfinches, Chaffinches and tits are very pleased :-)

Steve Hale Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 03/07/2019 18:57:34

Topped the feeders up today 3/7/19. We're out of peanuts now and the seed bin will become empty in about a week's time.

Steve Hale Re: Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 14/08/2019 11:45:51

Feeders topped up 14/8/19, seed bin now empty but still plenty of peanuts.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 19/08/2019 15:20:19

Seed bin still empty and feeder well on its way to being empty too. We still need a proper system for seed stocking! It needs to be Cley based since the NOA hut is never manned these days.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 19/08/2019 15:20:28

Seed bin still empty and feeder well on its way to being empty too. We still need a proper system for seed stocking! It needs to be Cley based since the NOA hut is never manned these days.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 23/08/2019 19:06:19

The seed bin and the feeders all now completely empty again. It's not rocket science to run a bird feeder, but it seems CBC/NOA can't do it.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 24/08/2019 10:55:13

I've topped up the feeders from my own supplies again, hoping that a sack of sunflower hearts or mixed seed arrives soon....

Vs Sarre Re: Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 30/08/2019 20:49:43

Perhaps if it was put in the hide it may last longer?

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 04/09/2019 13:48:28

I've been away for a week and still there's no seed in the bin. I can only presume that NOA really don't want this feeding station after all, for whatever reason. If no more seed arrives in the next week or so, sadly I'll give up on the project too and take my big feeder home.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 12/09/2019 16:52:50

It's back up and running again! Seed has arrived today and the bin is full, so it should be good for a while. The birds are very pleased!

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 05/11/2019 13:08:01

Both the seed bins are completely empty now, but one of the peanut feeders and the main large seed feeder are full, so that should keep the birds going for just a few days more....
Birds at the feeder today included plenty of tits and a Brambling.
Can I suggest that, if the Club can afford it, going back to Sunflower Hearts (plus peanuts, and niger too, if possible) would be greatly preferable to the cheaper mixed seed. Sunflower Hearts are attractive to many more species and the cheaper seed mixes are at least in part a false economy because the birds just pick and choose what they want and chuck out all the wheat and cheap stuff which piles up on the ground below the feeder. Sunflower Hearts will cost more though, because it attracts more birds and therefore gets eaten more quickly and needs replenishing more often.

Steve Gantlett Re: Walsey Hills Feeding Stationposted at 15/11/2019 16:58:03

Great! As requested, a stock of Sunflower Hearts and a bin-full of peanuts have reappeared, so the feeder is up and running well again. It's well worth a look: there are plenty of common birds coming and going and there's always the chance of something different dropping in.... CBC (and, of course, NOA) members are welcome to go through the gate and up the steps any time, of course, and a comfortable seat looks down on the feeders.

Forum Home