Personal musings, wanderings and sightings from around the lake.
A little history, and about the lake, at the bottom of the page.


Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Bird Feeders of Caldecotte

Since last November, I have been feeding the birds on a daily basis here; rain or shine, and even walking here in the snow, when I couldn't drive my car because of the conditions. I buy the seed, the feeders, and maintain it all. I take them home to clean them on a regular basis, and replace the feeders as they get destroyed by the squirrels.

No one asked me to do it; it's something I chose to do.
It attracts lots of birds.
It has also attracted some attention.

I guess if you are an organisation, it must be difficult trying to keep an acceptable balance, when a popular parkland area is used by members of the public, and is also home to the wildlife that lives there.

The wildlife has more than likely been pushed from its previous homes, when that was destroyed to make way for the 'people homes'.
Wildlife that is fast losing it's place in a society that seems hell bent on the destruction and scaring of this planet.

So the balance is made for us, to live side by side.
A sterile countryside, with neatly trimmed bushes and shrubs, Swans gracefully cruising on the lake, and fluffy bunnies scampering beside a fine gravel path.

Caldecotte Lake is quite a popular 'parkland', run by the Parks Trusts, of Milton Keynes. They do a difficult job. Who are they?

'The Parks Trust is the independent charity that owns and cares for many of Milton Keynes parks and green spaces.  This adds up to 4,500 acres of river valleys, woodlands, lakesides, parks and landscaped areas alongside the main roads – about 20 percent of the new city area.'

A quote from their web site.

Back to the feeders.

After returning at the weekend, from a few days away in Wales, I found a notice on the tree, by the feeders, from the Parks Trust.
A phone call to Dawn, and a meeting was arranged to discuss them.

The feeders have attracted some unwanted vermin, not just the kind that do this,

but the furry kind, with four legs. 


Rats that live in the park, and probably go unnoticed by most people that visit. Unnoticed like most of the wildlife that tries to live here.

Now Dawn was a very sensible young woman. I must make this clear; she had a difficult job the loony who is putting up bird feeders in a public area, and which has caused concern, and complaints, from members of the public that use this park.

So, how do we solve the problem, and keep everyone happy; including the birds, that are about to face another winter, and a possible food shortage?

The rats have a few tunnels by the footbridge, and have lived there for some time.
We inspected the area of the feeders, and found a few rat holes nearby. The rats have a ready made food source, inadvertently supplied by me, unfortunately, so they've set up home closer. Sensible, when you think about it.

Dawn suggested that by removing the fat balls; and their biggest high energy food source, hopefully they would move on.
"What about the seed feeders?" I asked.
"They can stay for now. We'll monitor the situation."
"Shall I take the fat balls down now?"
"No, let the birds finish them, but don't replace them."

That seemed pretty fair to me. Everything stays the same......for now.

Well, not quite everything.
The picnic table.
I've been putting seed on the picnic table by the car park; the one the other visitors to the park burnt a hole in with a BBQ.
It really should be for people to sit down, enjoy a rest, and maybe have a sandwich.

Or carve bits out of it, to while away the time.

I agreed not to use it as a giant bird table.

So a productive meeting, and good to meet someone from the organisation that does its best to maintain the park for everyone.
I'd like to say a big thank you to Dawn, for being understanding, helpful, and not a monster.

One final thought though; I do hope the members of the public that were horrified to see a few rats living in the country, and not near their lovely homes, never have to witness a male swan, fighting another, over territory..........or watch a couple of Great Crested Grebes, trying to drown each other, for the same reason................or a Heron, taking a duckling for lunch............or, well, you get the idea.
Nature isn't always how some of us would like to believe it is.

It would be terrible to have to live in a Disney world, and not the real one.

Normal post tomorrow, hopefully. 

Enjoy the rest of your day, and the nature around you. The way the world is going, it might not be there to enjoy one day.


  1. A fair result......Them rats are bad. I've been told they run up your trouser leg and pinch your nuts.
    Start putting dead rats'll get a buzzard or Red Kite. That'll learn them!
    Why do cretins like Daniel and Matthew spell their names with an(I) or (Y) on the end. Have fun Keithy all the best Adi.

  2. Cheers Adi; your comment put a huge smile on my face this morning, thanks.

    Yea, a good result all round; so far.

  3. Ratty is just lovely, I had a pet rat once, they are so misunderstood, they are gentle, loving and clean creatures. (Unlike most humans!)

    As you say what do people expect to see when they are visiting the 'country' the population in general is far too disconnected from nature, having seen what the people do to our beautiful planet always leaves me astounded at their blatant disregard for the sacredness of mother nature and her amazing animal children.

  4. Good result Keith, looks like you edged it in round one. Unfortunately though, I suspect that you won't have heard the last of it.

    Just one thought, would it not be possible to relocate the feeders away from the footbridge and over to the area by the 'backwater' they would then be out of sight to all the moaners but still be accessible for you , and ultimately us. I'm sure the birds wouldn't mind and they would be less disturbed by the joggers[;O)

    btw. Thanks to Dawn for being so understanding and for not being the jobsworth that she could have been...[;o)

  5. Thanks Gemel. A shame that rats are persecuted so much, they're just trying to get by in a crazy world.

    Cheers Trevor. I think you may be right about it not being the last we hear of it. Moving the feeders away from near the bridge sounds a bloody good idea to me; nice one.
    Yea, Dawn was certainly a sensible person.

    Thank you Bob. It was a good result; so far.

  6. Wow! A healthy dollop of common sense, an amicable solution and a reprieve for the feeders. As for the scrotes that trash the place, I don't suppose Dawn mentioned removing their fat balls too?

  7. Graeme, a good result I feel.
    I think Trevor's suggestion of relocating them away from the bridge is a good one too.
    Sadly the scrotes get to keep their balls.

  8. the real 'beasts' in this fable left the trash and burn hole and scratch graffiti...

    kudos to dawn for being a good balance in this political world...

  9. Hi Keith.. the above, especially Adi brought me to tears in laughter lol!
    I know this is important to you and I suppose it could have a worse ending then it did..pretty fair????.....but I do suspect like Trevor said "not the end of it" !
    It is the rotten apple in the barrel rotten apple spoils it for the rest...that's all it takes sometimes !!


  10. Theresa, I couldn't agree with you more; and yea, Dawn couldn't have been fairer.

    Thanks Grace. Yea, the rotten apples certainly make a bigger mess than any of the real animals here.

  11. Yes a reasonable result then Keith.

  12. Yea, it's worked out pretty good so far Roy.

  13. Well done for keeping your cool. Dawn sounds like she was very reasonable and at least willing to listen...
    Is she now a follower of your blogs lol.. take care mate.

  14. It just amazes me that people will tolerate the filthy mess that some people leave behind yet complain about a few rats near a bird feeder. I think the rats are just as attracted to the mess from people.

  15. Thanks Andrew. Yea, Dawn had a really sensible head on her :-)
    Not sure if she's a follower lol

    Horst, I couldn't agree more; especially seeing some of the food left behind by some people at the picnic areas.

  16. I had thought along similar lines to Trevor. Having several different places for the feeders. The birds will soon find them when they are moved. Maybe there is somewhere where the rats won't be so prominently in view to passers by.

    A good compromise by the sounds of it. I have no doubt you made a point of drawing Dawn's attention to the problems caused by two legged rats.

  17. Thanks John. Yea, the two legged variety was mentioned by Dawn lol

    I think I've found the perfect place today, to re-site them.

  18. Well at least she was nice and didnt ask you to remove the feeders..but I would like to see as much complaining about the mess left by picnicers who dont care about the park! I read your other post about moving the feeders to a spot off the beaten path and that makes sense to me...IF the joggers dont pass the rats they even know they are around..HEY a rats gotta eat too!!

  19. Thanks Sondra. Yea, some people complain about the strangest things, and yet miss the real issues.
    The re-siting seems to have worked well. Hopefully a win situation all round.

  20. I am glad Dawn was understanding and reasonable.

    The end of you post really hit me: "One final thought though; I do hope the members of the public that were horrified to see a few rats living in the country, and not near their lovely homes, never have to witness a male swan, fighting another, over territory..........or watch a couple of Great Crested Grebes, trying to drown each other, for the same reason................or a Heron, taking a duckling for lunch............or, well, you get the idea.
    Nature isn't always how some of us would like to believe it is."

    You are so right...nature is so very beautiful, wondrous, intelligent, creative, colorful, and cruel.

    On another note - your photographs from Wales are *incredible*!

  21. Thanks Jen.
    Dawn was very fair about the whole thing, and the feeders are doing a great trade in their new spot lol

    Just back from Wales again, so more pictures to come. Glad you enjoyed them.