There are arable fields bordering the meadows and we do get farmland birds here. One of these is the Linnet. Here are some photos I took of these beautiful birds last Autumn:
Although we get lots of Linnets in the Summer and Autumn, we don’t get them in the Winter – presumably because we do not have a supply of seeds for them then and they have to go elsewhere.
Even when they are around, we have never seen a Linnet at our feeders although they come to drink and bathe in the ponds. They are seed eaters, but nothing that we offer on the feeders is of any interest to them.
In the recent series of Winterwatch, they did a piece on farmland birds. A selection of different seeds was put in trays in a field and they recorded which birds ate which seeds. Linnets very strongly favoured Oilseed Rape which is something that we have never before tried putting out. It was time to give it a go:
We have been putting it out for a few days now. Its early days but it has been going down and so I put a camera on it to see what is eating it:
When the Linnets return to the meadows this year, it will be interesting to see if they will be tempted by our new, improved menu and if other farmland birds such as Yellowhammer will be also.