Rainy days are not unheard of around these parts, though no complaints about the summer, so far. The recent heavy showers must be a little strange and a surprise for young birds who are only out of the nest in the past month or so.

A young Great Tit (c. Oran O’Sullivan) 

The young Great Tits are frequent visitors to the Peanut feeder , but I have noticed too that they like to forage in and around the patio furniture,  feeding on Barbie scraps no doubt and  sheltered from the rain under the table.Robins are generally very happy to follow gardeners around , whether its mowing or digging operations, prey is disturbed and gratefully accepted. We were lucky enough to have three Robin nestboxes occupied this year, and there are young birds all around the garden.  We have one particularly brave young Robin which visits the cats’ bowl on the window sill.. the adult bird did too, so it learnt the trick and has so far managed to avoid the cat and the rain.

Dry Food for daring Robin (c. Oran O’Sullivan)

Siskins are regular rainy day visitors and great fans of Nyjer seed.  According to BTO research, they are more likely to visit the garden feeders when it is raining.  The reason being that their forest food source, conifer seed, is not available to them as the scales on Spruce cones close in wet conditions.  Siskins, like Goldfinches, are comparatively recent garden visitors, both benefitting from our growing interest in feeding birds.

Siskins feed through the rain showers (c. Oran O’Sullivan).

The timing of birds nesting and hopefully avoiding prolonged rainy conditions is crucial, but something of a lottery.  Last summer, many young Blue Tits didn’t survive the chilling wet conditions, so much so that Sparrowhawks took the knock on effect  with few if any young reared and numbers recorded last winter dropped dramatically.  It appears to have been a much better breeding season this summer, if our garden is anything to go by.

Young Wren forages around the log pile (c. Oran O’Sullivan)