• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Birds suddenly left my garden (1 Viewer)

underhanded

New member
United Kingdom
I'm based in Bristol, UK, having moved into my current home in September last year. Having put out multiple feeders, I've encouraged a good mix of garden birds to visit us daily (a flock of long tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, robins, blackbirds, a dunnock and a cool little blackcap).

I've had quiet days when and super busy days, yet since Saturday, we've had 0 birds in the garden (working from home means I have a near permanent eye on the garden!) In this period we've had no major changes to the garden I can spot, or predators (the neighbourhood cat occasionaly slinks through, yet has done for months). It's a shame as I really like our garden residents, and hope they haven't gone for good!

Has anyone any theories on the reasons for this? We have experienced a sudden cold snap here, and their departure does seem to have coincided with the sudden drop in temp (it got really cold on Sunday and hasn't really gone above 0).Yet, I thought this cold snap would encourage the birds to visit are plentiful suet and seeds. I also read that sudden drops in temp can make birds seek warmer climes to the south. Could it perhaps be this?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts!
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I suspect that there may be a or some BOPs in the area which are keeping the birds away.

Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)

We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like ;)
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi underhanded and a warm welcome from me too.

KC could be right, though I guess there could be other reasons too which isn't so easy to pin down. I'm sure they'll be back though.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I hope to hear about all the birds you see when out and about.
 

Kits

Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum! I am sure that you will find lots to interest you here and I hope that you enjoy your visits.

I would guess that the very cold weather may have affected the birds.
 

underhanded

New member
United Kingdom
Thanks all, I'm happy to be here. I guess there could be a variety of factors - I'm actually very centrally based in the city, so there are all sorts of noises/contstruction throughout the day, yet luckily have a 'mini forest' of about a dozen large trees backing onto my garden, which I think really helps the birds thrive in our garden!

I will keep an eye out for BOP, as well as hope that birds come back when it warms up a touch on the weekend! We also have 4 squirrels that are encamped in our garden daily, and they haven't gone anywhere, so I still get a bit of entertainment on these cold days (the squirrels and birds have lived very harmoniously to date, the squirrels gave up on the bird feeders a long time ago, and instead feed from a 'squirrel hotel' I set up for them)
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I'm based in Bristol, UK, having moved into my current home in September last year. Having put out multiple feeders, I've encouraged a good mix of garden birds to visit us daily (a flock of long tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, robins, blackbirds, a dunnock and a cool little blackcap).

I've had quiet days when and super busy days, yet since Saturday, we've had 0 birds in the garden (working from home means I have a near permanent eye on the garden!) In this period we've had no major changes to the garden I can spot, or predators (the neighbourhood cat occasionaly slinks through, yet has done for months). It's a shame as I really like our garden residents, and hope they haven't gone for good!

Has anyone any theories on the reasons for this? We have experienced a sudden cold snap here, and their departure does seem to have coincided with the sudden drop in temp (it got really cold on Sunday and hasn't really gone above 0).Yet, I thought this cold snap would encourage the birds to visit are plentiful suet and seeds. I also read that sudden drops in temp can make birds seek warmer climes to the south. Could it perhaps be this?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts!

I'd have thought that the cold weather is less incentive for them to venture very far when they know there is available food in your garden. For the first time in my memory I had a goldcrest feeding on the suet balls today, and it flew in to start feeding no more than 2 metres from where I was standing knowing I was there: 'must have been pretty hungry. I don't know whether it's a human interpretation of the cold weather effect on them but I get the impression some of the birds 'round here are struggling a bit at the moment. It is absolutely bitter here in the North East: not getting above freezing all day, with snow blizzards, and it feels colder; and yet the birds here are not moving very far at all. When I feed them, there are flocks of them come down and redwings are turning up too so they must be struggling as I never see them in my garden.

Thankfully there is a bit of light at the end of tunnel for them as it starts to warm up here from Sunday.

Oh, and we have a few wild cats 'round here which venture into the garden until I chase them out, but the birds haven't moved for them. I'd imagine with food being scarce it's a risk they're prepared to take.
 
Last edited:

underhanded

New member
United Kingdom
@PaulCountyDurham that was my thinking too, with three feeders freshly filled in my garden I'd have thought they'd of stuck around rather than venturing further away. I guess it could be that my once daily visitors came from far away each day (and now due to the weather they're staying closer to their nests).

A blackbird returned this morning to feed on some of the seeds I leave on the ground for him, so hopefully a sign of more returnees later in the week!
 

underhanded

New member
United Kingdom
As an update, some of my garden visitors have returned. The frequency of their visits have all reduced, but the pair of Great Tits are back, as are the blue tits and blackbird. I have yet to see the dunnock, robin and black cap, but I think I've heard all three somewhere off in the surronding trees.

In regard to the long tailed tits, they would always visit in a flock of 7 or 8 previously. Today, they returned but just as a pair! I wonder (it's only a theory) that we may have lost some to the cold? my RSPB book, as well as various online resources, say that long tailed tits are particularly susceptible to cold weather, and it was -4 two nights in a running here. So I do worry....

I will keep my eye out for the rest of the flock - either way I hope the two I saw today survive tonight, it's -4 centigrade again (it then wamrs up tomorrow!)
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
As an update, some of my garden visitors have returned. The frequency of their visits have all reduced, but the pair of Great Tits are back, as are the blue tits and blackbird. I have yet to see the dunnock, robin and black cap, but I think I've heard all three somewhere off in the surronding trees.

In regard to the long tailed tits, they would always visit in a flock of 7 or 8 previously. Today, they returned but just as a pair! I wonder (it's only a theory) that we may have lost some to the cold? my RSPB book, as well as various online resources, say that long tailed tits are particularly susceptible to cold weather, and it was -4 two nights in a running here. So I do worry....

I will keep my eye out for the rest of the flock - either way I hope the two I saw today survive tonight, it's -4 centigrade again (it then wamrs up tomorrow!)

It was upwards of minus 10 'round here last night, Underhanded. They must be struggling. I've just been watching a female kestrel spend hours trying to find some food, 'just constantly looking over frozen ground with no obvious sign of success.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top