An early garden walk with a camera this morning highlighted something I hadn’t noticed. Oops… and it’s something pretty crucial to wildlife too especially at this busy nesting time. It provides not only water to drink but a place to bathe keeping nesting birds clean – especially the females who spend more time in the nest. The birdbaths have gone dry!
Okay, so wildlife here have the back-up of a pond but most gardens don’t. I should also add that the whole of the UK isn't having this problem. Rain and winds have seen the wildife presenters of the currently running BBC Two's Springwatch programme with their coats on and the cameras showing brooding birds soaking wet with the rain showers they have experienced. No dry birdbaths there then :-0
Providing a dish of fresh water for wildlife is easy and quick to do. However, during warm dry spells as we are currently having, these dishes can dry up very quickly - so quickly that you can miss it. Giving the dish a sweep out and wet brush clean (I didn’t use detergents) will save a build-up that could colour the water (not so pretty for the gardener to see). Day 2 - job done!
A ceramic plant saucer can make a great dish for water too. I’ve one placed inside my hedgehog feeding station and see it well used in the evenings by hedgehogs via a night cam. I just need to pull it out to wash and refill it. It’s an easy job too - another tick for Day 2.
A small, unused birdbath top has been recycled as a ground water dish and placed outside a Hedgehog House hidden under the shade of my Leylandii hedge. Hedgehogs pass under my hedge so this is an experiment to attract a female to bring up a family there – now that would be special! That’s three ticks here - recycling, water and a home for wildlife :-)
Finally, the noise of running water must attract birds – you’d think? I've certainly seen it attract newly fledged birds. Oops, I haven’t had the pump on at my small rock pool pond. I’ve reused an old broken roof tile for the water spout. It blends well with the sandstone rocks which were also recycled from a farmer’s field. Pump switched on, another 3 ticks. This #30DaysWild with the Wildlife Trusts could be a realistic challenge for one garden after all – it’s early days though ;-)
This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in June 2016.