a mediateam website

See a sample issue of The Irish Garden!

Dick's Journal

Dick's Journal

Last Post 27 days 11 hours ago

Robins, Roses and Rodents.

28 November 2016 20:41:40

In recent times when I go outside, I am usually reminded by a robin that some food is required. When I put the bird seed into the feeder, he is in and picking away with the seed. Recently I have noticed a second robin, at another feeder. Sometimed a few collar doves come down  for the food and the robin tends to fly away. However when I stay around, the robin tends to come back and is less scared of me than of the doves.  To day was milder than others so I got at putting in some more Pelargoniums. As I did, I noticed the robin searching around where the pots containing the plants were. Apparently, there is something more tasty there than the bird seed.

The roses that were so good this summer and autumn are almost exhausted now. They were great during the flowering season. It is hard to think that in a little over a month, I should be pruning them again. In recent times, I start the pruning in January. There was a time when I was doing this work in February and certain people told me it was too early. Then Gerry said that it could be done in January and I was pleased to take his advise. Now I have the roses in bloom earlier and I believe better quality.

A few days ago, I was opening the front door and there was a rat in front of me. He immediately ran away and that was an idea. I took out the rat poison and put it insde a plastic pipe and made sure that the small birds would not get at it. I had mentioned in the journal some time ago that the domestic cat could be a worse preditor than the magpie so I took Dick Warner's advise and put it out of my mind to acquire a cat. I feel that when there is no cat around, that the small birds would not be in danger so the rat poison is the remedy.

Please login to write a comment or click here to register

Jacinta D Jacinta D 28 November 2016 20:59:06

Good idea putting the poison into a pipe. I do the same.

DeclanTipp DeclanTipp 28 November 2016 21:06:41

Dick , The roses had a good year and hopefully '17 will be too . Iknow of persons that prune in Nov/Dec and again in Jan/Feb. Some swear by this double pruning, have you ever tried it ? 

On the Rat topic I discovered I had one in one of my compost bins ( plastic ). Large droppings and tunnels through the bin . Bait laid and eaten same night .  I didn't tell my other half either !!! I then discovered a mouse in my hen feed ... it's the time of year and the critters are cold and hungry . 


fraoch fraoch 28 November 2016 21:13:27

Yes, I had a mouse in the compost a while ago and put poison under a broken flower-pot. i think the idea of double pruning is to prune just enough to prevent wind-rock now and then prune hard in the New Year.

JoanG JoanG 28 November 2016 22:18:02

Lovely journal, Dick.  I think robins prefer a meat diet when they can get it and there were probably woodlice or other insects under the pot ... that's why they hop around after us when we are digging in the garden. 

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 29 November 2016 01:13:07

Great description of the wildlife in your garden, Dick! I found a dead mouse in my utility room the other day and I'm still trying to figure out (a) how he got there and (b) what killed him?

As to having a cat - I have an outdoor cat who keeps the rodents well away from the house (apart from that singular mouse !!! ) and he has very limited success with birds because my feeders are well away from bushes that might give him shelter. The real plus is that the rabbits that used to be such a pest have stopped invading my garden completely!

TerriShoos TerriShoos 29 November 2016 06:58:49

At our old house I once found a rat in the cutlery drawer! Don't know who was more scared, me or the rat! Alan had been in total denial, but I was at college in Maynooth then and told him in no uncertain terms that I wasn't coming home again until the rats were got rid of. (He chose me and got Rentokil in.)

Robins are generally insect-eaters rather than seed-eaters, but this time of year they'll eat what they can get. Ours like the fat-balls but shun seed. They seem to have been exceptionally tame lately, I guess it's the young 'uns  who haven't learned better. 

Dick Dick 29 November 2016 16:51:17

Thank you all. It is interesting to hear about the diet robins have. It is true that when I am digging, the robin is there to pick up the eatibles. Thanks Joan and Terri for that tip. Thanks Declan and Heather for the tip about pruning.

Moya Moya 29 November 2016 23:03:18

Good journal Dick. I hate seeing rats. I noticed one in the Summer feeding from the bird feeder and I am now inclined to stop the feeding in late Spring. I have a bait box and that time I noted its run and put the bait box with poison near it. It was cheap enough and I am confident that the birds or other animals do not have access to the poison.

Terri, I'm so glad Alan chose you. LOL

Dick Dick 12 February 2017 11:37:22

Speaking of robins, a good friend of min, John Quinlan, has entered a large number of photos in facebook. It includes robins and I have seen one eating out of his hand. I have never got that far.


Garden.ie Members

Not a member yet?
Join now to:

Join Now

Existing Members

Forgotten password

Garden.ie CLUB

Join Ireland's first online garden club! Share pictures of your garden, make new friends and chat with other gardeners. It's simple to join and free! Register Here

Featured Members


Thousands of gardening facts at your finger tips:

Ask Gerry

Gerry DalyTry our unique advice service from editor Gerry Daly. Got a question right now? Search here to see if it has been answered already:

a mediateam website

©2017 Garden.ie. Mediateam Ltd, Media House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18.

Tel (+353 1) 2947777 Email info@garden.ie

Website Design by KCO.ie