Hello! I so enjoyed reading your comments on my cleaning out the cupboards post. I liked hearing what you stockpile in your cupboards too, it made me feel that I'm not alone! Today I want to share a brilliant idea for feeding the birds during winter which I read about somewhere recently. You need a few empty yogurt pots (the individual ones work best here), some lard or suet, and some dry ingredients like oats, breadcrumbs, nuts, seeds or dried fruit.
Make a hole in the bottom of your yogurt pot and thread a long piece of string through the hole.
Prepare your bird food. You need approximately one part lard or suet to two parts dry ingredients. Melt the fat in a saucepan, add the other ingredients and mix well. Spoon into the waiting yogurt pot making sure you push it as far down as you can. If it isn't well-compacted it will crumble when you remove it. Wiggle the end of the string so that it's roughly central.
Put your yogurt pots in the fridge to set. Put them on a plate, as a fair bit of that lard will leak through the little hole as they cool and set.
After a couple of hours they will be ready. Cut away the yogurt pots with scissors and then cut and knot one length of the string.
Using the other, longer length of string, hang from a waiting tree branch in the garden.
And that is all! Very easy and a fun activity to do with children too. Now wait for word to get around and all the local birds to come to dine in your garden. I hung three on Saturday. Two remain, a little pecked but intact, but one has just completely vanished leaving nothing but a dangling thread of string. There is nothing on the grass underneath the tree, no crumbs. I blame a crack team of squirrels with night vision goggles; two to dislodge the cake and more waiting underneath to catch it and carry it away, perhaps. But I did see a bird pecking away at one this morning and that made me feel good.