You can actively encourage birds into your garden with your choice of plants. Insect-attracting species such as Buddleia and Honeysuckle will also bring in insectivorous birds
Nestboxes are the obvious way to do this – there are different styles to suit everything from Robins to Swifts, or even Barn Owls. But don’t stop there. If you have outhouses or sheds, species such as Wrens and Swallows may nest inside them – put up with a few droppings (easily cleared away at the end of the breeding season), and you’ll have the pleasure of seeing families of young birds being raised in front of you. Similarly, if you have mature trees with cavities in the trunks, leave them to be used as nestholes wherever possible. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a tidy garden that’s good for children, adults and pets, but there’s no need to go overboard. Try letting patches grow a little wild, to encourage insects and invertebrates that provide vital food for birds A portable camo hide can be effective for garden bird photography Automatic ‘camera traps’ are now inexpensive and are a great way of recording the wildlife in your garden. You can easily set one or more up focused on your feeders, or any perches that are habitually used by your garden birds. But because garden birds are often at close range, you can also get good photos yourself, with hybrid cameras or even some compacts. You need a suitable hide: even the garden shed could do the job; plus a little bit of patience. Get into the habit of listing what you see. Not only can you then send this data to various schemes, such as Birdtrack, the BTO’S Garden Bird Watch, or the RSPB’S Big Garden Bird Watch, but you’ll also start to notice the subtle changes in your garden birds, both from season to season and over the years. Make a point of also recording the weather at the time of each birding sessions, and you’ll soon learn when to expect certain species.
REDWING Scruffy gardens are best for wildlife